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VOL. Ill 





tendent, MILO M. QUAIFE, Editor 


Theodore C. Bleoen — The Competition of the Northwestern 

States for Immigrants 3 

Louise Phelps Kellogg — The Story of Wisconsin, 

1634-1848 30, 189, 314, 397 

Theodore Roosevelt 41 

A Tragedy of the Wisconsin Pinery 42 

James H. McManus — A Forgotten Trail 139 

H. R. Holand — The Kensington Rune Stone . 153 

W. A. Titus — Historic Spots in Wisconsin 184, 327, 428 

William F. Whyte — Observations of a Contract Surgeon 209 

M. M. Quaife — An Experiment of the Fathers in State Socialism. . 277 

William Browning — The Early History of Jonathan Carver 291 

John C. Reeve — A Physician in Pioneer Wisconsin 306 

H. R. Holand — Further Discoveries Concerning the Kensington 

Rune Stone 332 

Rasmus B. Anderson — Another View of the Kensington Rune Stone 413 

David F. Sayre — Early Life in Southern Wisconsin 420 

Franklin F. Lewis — The Career of Edward F. Lewis 434 


Letters of a Fifth Wisconsin Volunteer 52 

A Journal of Life in Wisconsin One Hundred Years Ago: 

Kept by Willard Keyes of Newfane, Vermont 339, 443 


General Grant and Early Galena; Early Advertising Policy of 

the Racine Advocate; Constitutional Convention Letters. . . 84 

A Woman "Y" Worker's Experiences; The Panic at Wash- 
ington after the Firing on Fort Sumter; Red Tape at 
Washington in the Good Old Days 241 


A Critic and a Certificate of Character 94 


Negro Suffrage and Woman's Rights in the Convention of 1846; 
Winnebago Battle Near Wyocena; Wisconsin and Nullifi- 
cation; Indian Folklore of Wisconsin; Indian Names for 
a Farm; Wisconsin as a Playground; The Sioux War of 
1862; Early Missions on the Menominee River; Early 
Trails and Highways of Wisconsin; Early History of 
West Point 227 

THE QUESTION BOX (continued) : 

Origin of the Name "Wisconsin"; Historical Associations of 
Sinsinawa; Old Trails around Eau Claire; Winnebago 

Villages on Rock River 364 

The History of Florence County; Beriah Brown; The Knapp- 
Stout & Co. Lumber Company; Costumes Three Genera- 
tions Ago; History of Fort Mackinac; Sioux War of 
1862 at Superior 466 


Some Corrections; Early Racine and Judge Pryor; More Light 
on Colonel Utley's Contest with Judge Robertson ; General 
Grant at Platteville; The Draper Manuscripts 249 

Recollections of Chief May-zhuc-ke-ge-shig; General Porter 
and General Parker; The Preservation of Wisconsin's 

First Capitol 372 

The Kensington Rune Stone; Birthplace of the Ringlings; 

Captain Marryat's Tour 478 


The Society and the State 113, 255, 376, 481 

Some Wisconsin Public Documents 128, 498 

The Wider Field 135, 272, 385, 503 

R 9 q q o q 

V *w O O %J {J 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 


VOL. Ill, NO. 1 SEPTEMBER, 1919 



SIN. Edited by MILO M. 
QUAIFE, Superintendent 



The Competition of the Northwestern States for 

Immigrants Theodore C. Blegen 3 

The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848 

Louise Phelps Kellogg 30 

Theodore Roosevelt , 41 

A Tragedy of the Wisconsin Pinery 42 

Documents : 

Letters of a Fifth Wisconsin Volunteer 52 

Historical Fragments: 

General Grant and Early Galena; Advertising 
Policy of the Racine Advocate; Constitutional 
Convention Letters 84 

Editorial : 

A Critic and a Certificate of Character 94 

Survey of Historical Activities: 

The Society and the State ; Some Wisconsin Public 
Documents; The Wider Field 113 

The Society as a body is not responsible for statements or opinions advanced 
in the following pages by contributors. 



Theodore C. Blegen 

Students of the American westward movement have 
devoted much attention to the geographical factors therein 
involved, to free land, routes of travel, methods of transpor- 
tation, the motives of immigrants, and to similar phases of 
the subject. In studying the distribution of the immigrant 
tide, especially in the period after 1850, one must attempt 
to evaluate a factor of a somewhat different nature, namely, 
advertising. Descriptive letters from immigrants played a 
vital part in inducing others to make similar ventures. The 
force of such letters was powerfully supplemented by the 
efforts of the steamboat lines, land corporations, and railroad 
companies, alert to the commercial profit to be derived from 
immigrants. Railway competition for immigrant trade 
resulted in the development of comprehensive schemes for 
securing such patronage. 1 ' The purpose of this paper is to 
describe official state competition of a somewhat like nature. 

To the railroad the capture of immigrant trade meant 
profitable traffic, the sale of railroad lands, the settlement of 
adjacent government land, and a labor supply, all of which 
spelled success for the company. What did immigrants mean 
to the new states of the Northwest? Dr. K. C. Babcock has 
pointed out that the real problem of the northwestern fron- 
tier after 1850 was "how to put more and ever more men of 
capacity, endurance, strength, and adaptability into the 
upper Mississippi and Red River valleys, men who first break 
up the prairie sod, clear the brush off the slopes, drain the 
marshes, build the railroads, and do the thousand and one 

1 Cf. Richmond Mayo-Smith, Emigration and Immigration, 45-52 (New York: 
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1908). 


Theodore C. Blegen 

hard jobs incident to pioneer life, and then turn to the build- 
ing of factories and towns and cities." 2 To the states of the 
Northwest the achievement of such ends meant greater 
wealth, exploitation of resources, larger assessments, the 
erection of public buildings, the establishment of public in- 
stitutions, greater expenditures for state improvements, — in 
brief, prosperity and growth. 

For any one of a half dozen or more states of the Middle 
West the difficult problem was how to attract the immigrants 
to settle within its particular boundaries. The whole North- 
west is in fact really one great, rich province, no considerable 
section of which has preponderant advantages over the rest 
of the area. Aggressive and well-planned efforts seemed 
reasonably certain to draw the immigrant groups to the de- 
sired places of settlement. Most of the northwestern states, 
particularly after the Civil War, carried on comprehensive 
and ingenious campaigns in this direction, in the course of 
which they naturally came into competition with each other. 
Their efforts did more than to bring to their own state limits 
immigrants who would in any event have come west. They 
brought to America large numbers of immigrants who other- 
wise would probably not have left Europe. In fact these 
state activities constituted one cause, though perhaps a minor 
one, for the great swelling of the volume of immigration in 
the seventies and eighties, especially from Germany, Norway, 
and Sweden. The present study deals particularly with the 
activity of the state of Wisconsin, with some account of the 
work of neighboring states. Wisconsin took the lead and in 
most respects is typical of the whole group of northwestern 

Wisconsin officially began the movement by establishing 
in 1852 the office of Commissioner of Emigration. The law 

2 The Scandinavian Element in the United States, 80 (University of Illinois 
Studies in the Social Sciences, vol. Ill, no. 3, September, 1914). 

The Competition of the Northwestern States 5 

provided that the commissioner was to reside in New York. 3 
Gysbert Van Steenwyck received the appointment and took 
up his duties in New York on May 18, 1852. He at once 
opened an office and soon placed himself in touch with the 
various immigrant protective agencies, consuls, shipping 
houses, and the like. In his subsequent work he employed 
as assistants first a Norwegian, and later two Germans and 
an Englishman. Authorized to expend $1,250 for publi- 
cations he had a large supply of pamphlets printed, which 
described the resources and opportunities offered the settler 
by Wisconsin. Twenty thousand of these pamphlets were 
printed in the German, five thousand in the Norwegian, 
and four thousand in the Dutch language. About five 
thousand were sent to Europe, and more than twenty 
thousand were distributed in New York, the latter being 
placed on vessels, in taverns and hotels, and given to 
immigrants personally. Advertisements were placed in 
English, German, and Dutch papers published in New York. 

The Commissioner soon discovered that many agencies 
were engaged in exploiting the immigrant trade to the full. 
Competition was particularly spirited among the railroad 
agents. The New York and Erie, for example, tried to make 
the immigrants start for the interior immediately after their 
arrival, for fear of having them stop over and secure tickets 
elsewhere. When a ship docked, a hundred or more agents, 
runners, and pedlers were at hand to make prey of the immi- 
grants. Van Steenwyck found that the forwarding agents 
favored Wisconsin because of the opportunity for high 
profits in overcharging for passengers and luggage to a 
region so far west. 

The Commissioner wisely concluded that the pamphlets 
would be of more value distributed in Europe than in New 
York, for the immigrants after arrival were too busy to road. 

8 Acta and Resolves Passed by the Legislature of Wisconsin, 1809, chapter 181 
The act carried with it an appropriation of .$1,500 for the salary of the commis- 
sioner, $1,250 for the publication of pamphlets, $880 for office rent, |100 for maps, 
and $700 for assistance to the commissioner. 


Theodore C. Blegen 

In his report he therefore urged that an agent of the state 
be sent to visit the chief points of departure in England, 
Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, 
Sweden, Norway, and Switzerland. He himself put adver- 
tisements in at least eight foreign newspapers, including the 
Dorfzeitung, Schwaebische Merkur, Bremer Auswander- 
nngzeitung, Koellnische Zeitung, Manheimer Journal, and 
the Amsterdam Handelsblad. He reported that 7,389 per- 
sons left New York for Wisconsin during the summer and 
fall by way of the New York and Erie, the Hudson River 
Railroad, and the steamboat route. Four hundred thirty- 
six persons called at his office, most of whom were Germans, 
with a scattering of other nationalities. 4 

The office was continued for the year 1853, Herman 
Haertel, a German land agent of Milwaukee, being ap- 
pointed to succeed Van Steenwyck. 6 During his year of 
service the work was carried on more ambitiously and with 
better results, partly because of the beginnings made the 
year before. Newspaper space was again bought in both 
foreign and New York papers; among the foreign are to 
be noted especially the London Times, Tipperary Free Press, 
Baseler Zeitung, and Leipziger Allgemeine Zeitung. Mr. 
Haertel contributed a series of articles to the New York 
Tribune on the railroads of Wisconsin. Thirty thousand 
pamphlets were distributed during the year, one-half of these 
being sent to Europe. 6 Over three hundred letters of inquiry 
from Europe and America were answered. The Commis- 
sioner's office was visited by about three thousand persons, 
two thousand of whom had just arrived from Europe. Of 
all who called for information, two-thirds were Germans, the 
rest being mainly Norwegians, Swedes, Irish, English, 

4 This account is based upon First Annual Report of the Commissioner of 
Emigration, for 1852, 1-16. 

5 General Acts of Wisconsin, 1853, chapter 53. 

6 The United States consul at Bremen at this time was a Wisconsin man, 
Dr. Hildebrandt of Mineral Point. He gave Haertel considerable assistance in 
the matter of criculating information. 

The Competition of the Northwestern States 7 

Scotch, and Hollanders. That people in Wisconsin took 
cognizance of the existence of a state commissioner in New 
York is evidenced by the fact that during the year Mr. 
Haertel received in sums ranging from five to twenty dollars 
about three thousand dollars from residents of the state to be 
given to relatives to help them to complete the journey. Many 
of the immigrants, however, and particularly the Germans 
possessed ample means. In one ship, for example, a party 
of one hundred twenty Germans had in all nearly sixty 
thousand dollars in their possession, an average of five hun- 
dred dollars each. Mr. Haertel estimated that during the 
year 1853 the emigration to Wisconsin was approximately 
as follows: 

From Germany 16,000 to 18,000 

From Ireland 4,000 to 5,000 

From Norway 3,000 to 4,000 

Other countries 2,000 to 3,000 

He made the claim in his report that while the entire immi- 
gration to the United States increased little, if any, Wiscon- 
sin during 1853 received fifteen per cent more than in the 
previous year. 7 

The agent of the state encountered considerable opposi- 
tion and maintains in his report that as a result of jealousy 
he was being attacked both officially and personally. The 
situation in New York. was such as to breed jealousy; it is 
thus described in the Commissioner's report, "For years past, 
emigrants, especially those landing in New York, have been 
systematically plundered, for which shameless wrong not 
only the hireling sub-agents, runners, etc., are responsible, 

7 The total immigration to the United States in 1853 was in fact less than 
the total for 1852. The exact numbers are: 1852—371,603; 1853— 3(58,645. The 
total German immigration in 1852 was 145,918; in 1853, 141,946. See the chart 
on immigration to the United States accompanying Jcnks, J. W. and W. Jett 
Lauck, The Immigration Problem (New York and London: Funk and Wagnallfl 
Company, 1917, fourth edition). 


Theodore C. Blegen 

but especially those who retain these unprincipled subjects 
in their employ." 8 

The attention of the state legislature was not confined 
to inducing only foreigners to come west. In 1853 a law was 
passed in Wisconsin authorizing the governor to appoint an 
agent "whose duty it shall be to travel constantly between 
this state and the city of New York, from the first day of 
May next to the first day of December next, and see that 
correct representations be made in eastern papers of our 
great natural resources, advantages, and privileges, and bril- 
liant prospects for the future; and to use every honorable 
means in his power to induce emigrants to come to this 
state." 9 Thomas J. Townsend, appointed to this position 
at a salary of $1,500, took his instructions literally. During 
1853 he traveled forty-two thousand miles and visited every 
important city in the northern states and in eastern Canada 
and nearly every village in New York and New England. 10 
He inserted Wisconsin notices in over nine hundred news- 
papers. In a brief report of his activities he asserts that 
when he began his work he found a prejudice against Wis- 
consin throughout all the East. He complacently sums up 
the results of his efforts by saying, "While no western state 

8 This account of the activity of Commissioner Haertei is based mainly upon 
Annual Report of the Emigration Commissioner of the State of Wisconsin for 
the year 1853, 1-15. A letter from Haertei to Governor Farwell, dated New York, 
June 30, 1853, gives an account of his work during May and June. This letter 
is to be found in manuscript in box 123, vault of the Governor's office, state capitol. 
In the same file is an interesting undated report from Haertei which describes 
the various kinds of impositions practiced upon immigrants in New York by 
unscrupulous agents. Cf. Mayo-Smith, Emigration and Immigration, 219-226. 
After describing the mistreatment accorded arriving immigrants, Mr. Mayo-Smith 
says, "These evils continued until 1855, when Castle Garden was made the landing- 
place for all immigrants, and they could there be protected against sharpers." 
(p. 219) The Board of Emigration Commissioners of the State of New York, 
established in 1847, was concerned primarily with the problems connected with 
the arrival of immigrants at New York City. 

9 General Acts of Wisconsin, 1853, chapter 56. 

10 Report of the Traveling Emigrant Agent of the State of Wisconsin for the 
year 1853, 3-4. 

The Competition of the Northwestern States 


had a worse reputation than ours last spring, no one had a 
better reputation last fall." 11 

Mr. Haertel very properly criticized in his annual report 
for 1853 the plan of a yearly reelection of the commissioner 
of emigration by a joint ballot of the two houses of the legis- 
lature. 12 But he also served only one season, being replaced 
by Frederick W. Horn of Ozaukee County. During 1854 
Mr. Horn established a branch office at Quebec. Elias 
Stangeland was appointed agent at Quebec for six months 
beginning May 1, 1854. The majority of the immigrants 
who came by way of Quebec were English, Irish, and Nor- 
wegian. In the spring of 1854 up to June 20 about two 
thousand Norwegians arrived at Quebec, most of them des- 
tined for Wisconsin. Though Commissioner Horn regarded 
the Quebec agency successful, lack of funds caused its discon- 
tinuance at the end of the six months. The chief efforts 
were naturally confined to New York. Mr. Horn estimated 
that in May, June, and July, 1854, not less than sixteen 
thousand Germans left New York for Wisconsin and he was 
of the opinion that the immigration for the fall months would 
be correspondingly high. 13 

u Ibid., 4. He adds the significant statement, however, that Wisconsin had 
a good crop that fall, and its railroad building projects were being carried for- 
ward vigorously. One is inclined to take his assertions with a grain of salt. 

13 Annual Report of the Emigration Commissioner . . . for 1853, 13. See 
General Acts of Wisconsin, 1853, chapter 34. 

13 The report of the third commissioner was never printed. It is to be found 
in manuscript in the Governor's vault, state capitol, box 123, and bears the date 
August 1, 1854. See also the commission issued to Mr. Horn, dated April 5, 1854 
(Governor's vault, box 123). The report of August 1 gives an account of the 
various services rendered to immigrants by the commissioner, and states that a 
considerable amount of money was received from Wisconsin to be i ,; vcn to immi- 
grants. Mr. Horn estimated that of those who left New York for Wisconsin 
about one-half remained in or near Chicago. The work of Commissioner Horn 
is discussed in K. A. Everest, "How Wisconsin Came by Its Large German Ele- 
ment," 301, 320 {Wisconsin Historical Collections . vol. XII); and Albert IV Paust, 
The German Element in the United States, I, 477 (Boston and New York: Hough- 
ton Mifflin Co., 1909). The earlier German Immigration reached Its highest point 

in 1854, with a total of 215,009. With the exception of L882, this was the largest 
figure German immigration ever reached in one year. The total in 1888 W9B 
250,630. Jenks and Lauck, op. cit., supplement. 


Theodore C. Blegen 

Some political opposition had developed toward the office 
of the commissioner and despite the favorable report of a 
select committee of the legislature, which in 1854 strongly- 
urged the continuation of the office, 14 the acts of 1855 pro- 
vided for the repeal of every preceding measure relating to 
emigrant agencies. 15 Though political influences account in 
part for the repeal, domestic problems naturally diverted 
interest from the subject of immigration very considerably 
in the later fifties and during the Civil War. Furthermore, 
the year 1855 marks an abrupt decline in the total volume 
of immigration to the United States, considerably less than 
one-half as many immigrants arriving in 1855 as in 1854. 
The German immigration in 1855 was only one-third as great 
as that of the year before, dropping from 215,009 to 71,918. 
Not until 1866 did the figures for the annual arrivals of 
Germans mount over a hundred thousand again. 16 Wiscon- 
sin did not resume its immigration activities until 1867. 

Other states of the Northwest had not been ignorant of 
what Wisconsin was doing to promote immigration in 1852, 
1853, and 1854. The report of the first Wisconsin commis- 
sioner states that Iowa was planning to follow Wisconsin's 
example. 17 Iowa did in fact establish a commissioner in 

14 Report of the Select Committee, to whom had been referred so much of the 
Message of His Excellency the Governor as relates to the Subject of the Com- 
missioner of Emigration. (Appendix to Senate Journal, 1854.) 

15 General Acts of Wisconsin, 1855, chapter 3. The New York office was closed 
on April 20, 1855. See Horn to Governor Barstow, May, 1855 (Governor's vault, 
box 123). 

16 Jenks and Lauck, The Immigration Problem, supplement. In the immigra- 
tion papers in the governor's vault (box 123) is a letter from L. B. Brainerd to 
Governor Salomon, June 16, 1862. This is accompanied by a paper by Rasmus 
Sorenson of Waupaca County, entitled "What Individual Enterprise has done in 
the Way of Emigrant Agency in Denmark." Sorenson went to Denmark in 
August, 1861. He lectured extensively on America, the war, and Wisconsin. He 
received so many letters of inquiry that he decided to print a small pamphlet on 
Wisconsin He asserts that a minister of the Danish Government proposed to 
him that the Government of Denmark purchase tracts of land in Wisconsin to 
be parceled out to Danish emigrants in tracts of eighty acres, the emigrants to 
pay for the land later. Nothing came of this, but at any rate one hundred fifty 
Danes accompanied Sorenson when he returned to Wisconsin. 

"First Annual Report of the Commissioner of Emigration for 1852, 11. 

The Competition of the Northwestern States 


New York in 1860, but the office was abolished two years 
later, and the work was then dropped until 1870 when it was 
renewed upon a much larger scale. 18 Minnesota did not 
establish an office of Commissioner of Immigration until 
1864, 19 and did not begin the work ambitiously until three 
years later, 20 but it is interesting to note that the first state 
legislature of Minnesota appropriated a sum of money for 
the purpose of advertising the state by means of a descriptive 
pamphlet. 21 It was not until after the Civil War, however, 
that these northwestern states entered into active competition 
with each other in the matter of securing the immigrant 

In 1867 Wisconsin established a Board of Immigration, 
composed of the governor, secretary of state, and six others. 22 
These members served without compensation, and the board 
was given an appropriation of $2,000 to meet expenses. The 
governor was authorized also to appoint a committee of three 
in each county of the state to assist the board. These county 
committees were to secure lists of friends and relatives of 
residents of their respective counties, and the names thus 
received constituted a mailing list for the board. 23 As a result 
of this arrangement many pamphlets were sent directly to 
individuals in the East and in Europe. The chief work of 
the board during the period 1867-70 related to the publi- 
cation and distribution of pamphlets. These were prepared 
in the English, German, French, Welsh, Dutch, Norwegian, 
and Swedish languages. In 1868 the membership of the 
board was expanded to eight, and the appropriation increased 

19 Laws of Iowa, 1860, chapter 81; 1862, chapter 11. 

19 General Laws of Minnesota, 1864, chapter XIX. The office was held by the 
secretary of state. A prize contest was held for the best essay on Minnesota. 
Pamphlets were printed in English and German and their distribution attended 
to by district committees in the state. Executive Documents of the State of 
Minnesota, 1864, pp. 81-85. 

20 See below, p. 20. 

21 General Laws of Minnesota, 1858, 102-103. 

22 General Laws of Wisconsin, 1867, chapter 126. 
28 Ibid. 


Theodore C. Blegen 

to $3,0()0." 4 In the following year an immigrant agent for 
the state was appointed to direct the work of the board. Two 
local agents, one in Milwaukee and the other in Chicago, 
Mere employed for four months in the year to assist immi- 
grants. 15 How far the state was willing to go in the matter 
of assistance to immigrants is given an interesting illustra- 
tion by the following words of the act of 1869: "The board 
of immigration shall have power to aid with such sums as it 
may think proper, either through the local agents or other- 
wise, such immigrants as are determined to make Wisconsin 
their future home, for the purpose of assisting them in reach- 
ing their place of destination, and the board shall be author- 
ized, if possible, to arrange with railroad companies for 
transportation of immigrants at half fare." 26 In 1870 the 
governor was authorized to appoint an agent in New York, 
but as no compensation was offered, nothing came of it. 27 

In the competition for immigrant settlement railroad 
companies, land concerns, states, counties, and other agencies 
printed and distributed hundreds of thousands of pamphlets. 
Many of these overdrew the picture, describing a veritable 
El Dorado for the benefit of prospective settlers who in 
responding to the lure of America were perhaps naturally 
too sanguine. Often their hopes went unrealized, especially 
in the beginning. On the other hand, the states of the North- 
west did fairly off er golden opportunities to settlers, and the 
great majority of the immigrants after a few years of effort 
achieved a success and a measure of prosperity which fully 
justified their faith. The states were on the whole honorable 
in their methods and probably presented more accurate pic- 
tures of their advantages than did the private agencies. 

That Wisconsin stood particularly high with respect to 
the character of its publications is due largely to Dr. Increase 

24 General Laws of Wisconsin, 1868, chapters 120, 171. 

25 General Laws of Wisconsin, 1869, chapter 118. 

26 Ibid. 

27 General Laws of Wisconsin, 1870, chapter 50. 

The Competition of the Northwestern States 13 

Allen Lapham, the eminent Wisconsin scientist, who fortu- 
nately was able to base what he wrote upon a scholarly under- 
standing of the natural resources of the state. 28 As early as 
1844 Dr. Lapham published a valuable little book called 
A Geographical and Topographical Description of Wiscon- 
sin, a second edition of which appeared in 1846. In his report 
for 1852 the first Wisconsin Commissioner of Emigration 
urged the state to secure the services of Dr. Lapham in pre- 
paring the official pamphlet. 29 This advice was heeded, with 
the happy result that scores of thousands of booklets trans- 
lated into numerous foreign languages came from the pen 
of the most scientific writer in Wisconsin. In the later his- 
tory of the immigration agencies of the state new pamphlets 
appeared from time to time, but practically all of them show 
the direct influence of Dr. Lapham's work. Not the least of 
Dr. Lapham's public services to Wisconsin was his admirable 
work in thus giving the state an excellent book designed for 
prospective settlers. The pamphlet of 1867 is typical of the 
Wisconsin publications and may profitably be examined in 
some detail. It bears the title Statistics, Exhibiting the His- 
tory, Climate and Productions of the State of Wisconsin.™ 
A map of the state, drawn with the nicety of workmanship 
characteristic of Dr. Lapham, serves as the frontispiece. 
Into the thirty-two pages of the pamphlet is compressed a 
fund of serviceable information on such topics as the follow- 
ing: location, topographical features, water power, rivers, 
small lakes, climate, health, geology, lead mines, zinc, iron 
ores, clays, peat and marl, native animals, fishes, forests, pine 
region, agriculture, chief crops of 1866 (the total value of 
which is placed at $69,213,544), live stock, farm products, 
implements, wages, manufactures, occupations, railroads, 

28 See Milo M. Quaife, "Increase Allen Lapham, First Scholar of Wisconsin." 
The Wisconsin Magazine of History, vol. 1, no. 1 (September, 1917). 

29 First Annual Report of the Commissioner of Emigration, 15-16. 

80 Published by order of the legislature, Madison, Wis.: At wood and Hublee. 
state printers, Journal office, 1867. 


Theodore C. Blegen 

markets, population, newspapers, churches, principal cities, 
lands, surveys, the Homestead Law, land tenure, value of 
property, government, rights, office-holding, rights of mar- 
ried women, revenues of the state, schools, libraries, state in- 
stitutions, postoffices, and routes from the seaboard. If Dr. 
Lapham omitted any important matter, the present writer is 
unable to name it. The book teems with the very kind of 
information immigrants most desired. To illustrate, definite 
information is given as to average wages for farm laborers. 
If hired for the year, the average monthly wage, without 
board, was $30.84; with board, $19.87 ; if hired for the sea- 
son, without board, $35.65 ; with board, $24.60 ; if hired by 
the day in harvest, without board, $2.68; with board, $2.15; 
at other times, without board, $1.78; with board, $1.28. S1 
Here was indeed information of value to the prospective 
settler without means. If in his conclusion Dr. Lapham 
seems to soar somewhat, the reader quickly discovers that 
every generalization there made is based upon a previous sec- 
tion of the booklet. He writes: 

It will be seen by the preceding statement of facts and statistics, 
based upon correct, usually official, evidence that Wisconsin 
Is a healthy state. 
A fertile state. 
A well watered state. 
A well wooded state. 
A rapidly growing state. 

A state where the rights of man are respected. 
Where intelligence and education are permanently secured for all 
future time. 

Where all the necessities and most of the comforts and luxuries of 
life are easily accessible. 

Where the climate is congenial to the health, vigor, and happiness 
of the people and where the rains are duly distributed over the different 
seasons of the year. 

Where agriculture, one of the chief sources of wealth to any nation, 
is conducted with profit and success. 

Where the division of the products of labor between the laborer and 
the capitalist is equitably made. 

^Statistics, Exhibiting the History, Climate and Productions of the State of 
Wisconsin, 15. 

The Competition of the Northwestern States 


Where the farmers are the owners of the land they cultivate. 
Where honest labor always secures a competence for a man and his 

Where land can be obtained almost without price. 

Where property is constantly increasing in value. 

Where every man has a voice in deciding the policy of the govern- 
ment under which he lives. 

Where ample and proper provisions are made for the unfortunate. 

Where every citizen is eligible to any office in the government. 

Where there is a great variety of occupations open to all. 

Where there is a due proportion between the city and country popu- 
lation, each affording mutual benefits and promoting the general welfare. 

Where postal facilities enable us to communicate readily and cheaply 
with distant friends. 

A state from whence markets are easily reached by water navigation, 
and by railroads. 

A state well supplied with water power to aid in doing the work 
of the people. 

A state affording many natural resources. And 

A state that can be reached from the seaboard by a cheap, com- 
fortable and speedy transit. 32 

That most of this could be said with equal truth in regard 
to the other states of the Northwest did not detract from its 
force as an argument for settlement in Wisconsin. Perhaps 
the most powerful inducement offered to settlers in Wiscon- 
sin was the land policy of the state. This policy was shaped 
especially to attract immigrants and to give Wisconsin an 
advantage over its neighbor states. Lands granted to the 
state for school purposes were offered for sale at extremely 
low prices. In fact, most of the four million acres received 
for university and school purposes has been disposed of in 
this way. As late as 1871, 56,000 acres of desirable land in 
Adams County were offered at fifty cents an acre; 20,000 
acres in Marathon County and 100,000 in Wood County at 
from fifty cents to $1.25; and 94,000 in Shawano County 
at from $1.25 to $2.25 an acre. 33 The commissioners used the 

83 Ibid., 31-32. The edition of 1869 has an addition of brief statistics on eadl 
of the counties of the state, including a careful statement of the foreign dements 
settled in each. 

83 K. A. Everest, "How Wisconsin Came by Its Large German Element." .'V21 
and fn. (Wisconsin Historical Collections, XII). See also Laics of Wisconsin, 
1872, p. 114. 


Theodore C. Blegen 

state land policy as a very effective argument for settlement. 
As early as 1853 Commissioner Haertel presented it as a 
special reason why immigrants should go to Wisconsin. He 
wrote in his report for that year: "In my daily intercourse 
with the emigrant, I directed the attention of those intending 
to purchase land to the school lands of our state, showing to 
those of limited means that they could at once plant them- 
selves in an entirely independent situation, as it could not be 
difficult for them, with patience and industry, and the long 
term allowed for payment, to meet their obligations. Upon 
inquiry, I have had the satisfaction to learn that during the 
past year large quantities of these lands, largely exceeding 
the sales of the previous year, have been sold, and chiefly to 
actual settlers." In 1869 the board published and distributed 
widely a list of school, university, and agricultural college 
lands subject to sale in Wisconsin counties. These lands 
were sold on time, twenty-five per cent in cash, with seven 
per cent interest on the balance due. The prices indicated 
in this list ranged mainly from $1.00 to $1.50. 

The board was succeeded in 1871 by a commissioner of 
immigration. The act creating this office provided a tem- 
porary appointment by the governor, to hold until the 
popular election of a commissioner in November, 1871, for 
a two-year term. The office thus became a political one, the 
candidate running for it in the usual way. 34 The law of 1871 
specified that an office was to be kept in Milwaukee; a 
pamphlet issued each year; English, French, German, 
Welsh, and Norwegian editions were to be put out ; county 
committees were to be appointed to cooperate with the com- 
missioner; a local agent was to be placed at Chicago four 
months of the year, while the commissioner himself was to 
act as local agent at Milwaukee. The act particularly 
authorized the commissioner to try to get reduced fares for 
immigrants from the railroad companies, and instructed him 

34 General Laws of Wisconsin, 1871, chapter 155. 

The Competition of the Northwestern States 


also to cooperate with the United States Bureau of Immi- 
gration. 35 

This new office was held for three years by Ole C. John- 
son, and by M. J. Argard for the years 1874 and 1875. It 
was abolished at the end of 1875, and immigration activity 
was then suspended until 1879. Ole C. Johnson was probably 
the most efficient commissioner of immigration that the state 
ever had. He was of Norwegian birth and had gained dis- 
tinction in the Civil War, having risen to the rank of colonel, 
succeeding Hans C. Heg as the leader of the Fifteenth Wis- 
consin Infantry. It is to be noted in this connection that in 
the other states of the Northwest as well as in Wisconsin the 
commissioners chosen were usually men of foreign birth, 
particularly German or Scandinavian. 

Johnson's first annual report for 1871 is an elaborate and 
valuable document. In addition to a survey of his own 
activity, he devoted about eighty pages to reports from the 
county committees and over fifty pages to tables of statistics 
and figures exhibiting the resources and progress of Wiscon- 
sin. His publication policy is stated at the outset of the 
report. "One principle I have laid down for my guidance," 
he says, "viz.: to give the facts just as they exist, unvar- 
nished and uncolored. I have noticed the pernicious practice 
indulged in by many railroad and land companies, and even 
those who represent states, of giving glowing accounts of 
their lands or states, that do not exist even in the imagination 
of the writers. This has become so common that many put 
little or no faith in documents gotten up for the purpose of 
inducing immigration. Consequently the practice is poor 
policy, as well as wrong in principle, and I have made special 
efforts that all information sent forth from my office shall 
be of the most reliable and trustworthy character." M 

30 Ibid. 

38 First Annual Report of the Commissioner of Immigration of the State of 
Wisconsin, for the year 1871, 8-9. 

18 Theodore C. Blegen 

A new practice was introduced by having the pamphlets 
published in foreign countries. In 1871 five thousand were 
published in Belgium in the French language, and ten thou- 
sand German pamphlets were published in Germany. 37 The 
following year ten thousand English pamphlets were pub- 
lished in England, and a like number in Norway in the Nor- 
wegian language for distribution in Denmark and Norway. 38 
The advantages of this plan were obvious; the pamphlets 
were printed and distributed where they were certain to exert 
the most direct influence ; the directness of the scheme gave 
Wisconsin a distinct advantage over the other states, for the 
state which first influenced the mind of an emigrant was 
usually made his objective point, especially if it turned out 
that many others of his nationality had already settled there. 
Commissioner Johnson believed that Minnesota, Iowa, Kan- 
sas, and Nebraska were much better known than Wisconsin, 
and that more extensive advertising was needed if the state 
were to compete on equal terms with its rivals. He notes 
that from May 1 to December 1, 1871 a total of 11,483 for- 
eigners arrived at the port of Milwaukee, of whom 5,097 
settled in Wisconsin. 39 Cooperation with the railroads is 
illustrated by the following statement of the Commissioner: 
"No old or infirm person, or women and children have been 
left in Milwaukee for want of means to get further, the com- 
pany (Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad Company) always 
passing such over their roads free of charge." 40 In his report 
for 1872 the Commissioner points to the coming completion 
of new railroads as certain to be of great influence in the 
settlement of the state. He refers particularly to the Wis- 
consin Central, the Milwaukee and Northern (to Shawano 

37 Ibid., 10. J. A. Becher of Milwaukee, who was in Germany at this time, 
cooperated with Colonel Johnson and aided particularly in securing consuls and 
steamship agents to distribute Wisconsin literature. 

88 Annual Report of the Commissioner of Immigration . . . for 1872, 17. 

39 First Annual Report . . . for 1871, 11. 

• Ibid., 14. 

The Competition of the Northwestern States 19 

and thence to Lake Superior), and to the Green Bay and 
Lake Pepin, and hopes for a road from the Mississippi to 
Lake Superior in the northwestern part of the state as a 
means of opening up what would otherwise be a wilderness. 41 
In 1872 four thousand pamphlets were printed in Welsh, 
with a view to attracting Welshmen from the coal and iron 
mines of Pennsylvania. 42 

Colonel Johnson was replaced at the beginning of 1874 
by M. J. Argard of Eau Claire. In the same year the legis- 
lature passed a law abolishing the office of commissioner, to 
take effect in January, 1876. 43 Mr. Argard used the follow- 
ing language in his report for 1875 with reference to the 
repeal: "It was conceived in vindictiveness and brought 
about by third-rate politicians and followed my refusal to 
appoint to place in my office, at the commencement of the 
year 1874, and to place my manhood and self-respect in the 
keeping of men, who grasp with the avidity of cormorants 
and the voracity of sharks, after positions they are in no wise 
competent to fill." 44 The political meddling which tem- 
porarily halted the state immigration activity occurred at the 
time of a temporary slackening in immigration. Between 
1873 and 1880 immigration to the United States was com- 
paratively slight. 45 In explaining the great decrease Com- 
missioner Argard does not mention the commercial depres- 
sion in the United States in 1873, 46 but he does present the 
following five reasons : First, the rich harvest in Norway and 
Sweden in 1873; second, a considerable increase in the fishing 

n Annual Report . . . for 1872, 12. The Lake Superior and Mississippi 
Railroad had been opened in 1871. See Lester B. Shippee, "The First Railroad 
Between the Mississippi and Lake Superior," in The Mississippi Vail eg Historical 
Review, vol. 5, no. 2 (September, 1918), pp. 121-42. The article brings out the 
nature of the rivalry between Wisconsin and Minnesota for the road. 

a Annual Report . . . for 1872, 17. 

48 Laws of Wisconsin, 1874, chapters 238, 338. 

"Annual Report of the Commissioner of Immigration . . . for 1875, 2. 
^Jenks and Lauck, The Immigration Problem., supplement. 
" But see Mayo-Smith, Emigration and Immigration, 42-43. 


Theodore C. Blegen 

industry of the Scandinavian countries; third, the wider ex- 
ploitation of the natural resources of the countries of north- 
ern Europe; fourth, the discouraging effects of the reports 
of great grasshopper plagues in western Minnesota and in 
Iowa; and finally, fifth, the bad treatment given arriving 
immigrants in the city of Chicago. 47 

The official immigration activity was discontinued this 
time until 1879, when the work was again renewed for a 
six-year period. In 1879 a Board of Immigration was 
created, consisting of the governor, secretary of state, and 
three other members. Authorized to encourage immigration 
from the East, Canada, and Europe, the board was given 
an appropriation of $2,500 for the first year. A salaried 
secretary was appointed by the board, Henry Baetz first 
occupying the position. 48 The local organization in the 
counties was revived in order to assist the board. The board 
came into existence just before the great influx of immi- 
grants from northern Europe in the eighties. The first 
annual report points out that while in 1879 there arrived 
at Milwaukee 13,382 immigrants of whom 4,781 settled 
in Wisconsin and 6,985 in Minnesota, in 1880 a total of 
38,838 immigrants arrived at the same port, 15,643 of whom 
went to Minnesota and 15,681 remained in Wisconsin. 49 
During the years of the activity of this board records were 
kept of the immigrants arriving at Milwaukee, particularly 
as to numbers, nationality, and destination. Summaries were 
published in each annual report. The figures apply of course 
only to the immigration by way of Milwaukee, being in no 
sense general figures for the state. Most of the immigrants 
were Germans, Norwegians, and Swedes, with a scattering 

47 Annual Report . . . for 1875, 2-3. 
iB Laws of Wisconsin, 1879, chapter 176. 

49 Annual Report of the Board of Immigration for the year ending December 
31, 1880, 1-2. 

The Competition of the Northwestern States 21 

of Danes, English, Irish, Scotch, French, Dutch, Bohemians, 
Poles, and others. Upon the basis of the recorded figures 
an interesting study can be made in regard to the numbers 
of Germans, Norwegians, and Swedes who settled in Wis- 
consin and Minnesota. For example, during the six years 
from 1879 to 1884 inclusive, 75,551 of the Germans who 
arrived at Milwaukee settled in Wisconsin, while 25,328 went 
to Minnesota; during the same period 35,943 of the Norwe- 
gians arriving at Milwaukee went to Minnesota, while only 
16,962 remained in Wisconsin; 25,679 Swedes went to Min- 
nesota, while 7,481 settled in Wisconsin. 50 In earlier years 
Wisconsin had been the Mecca for the Scandinavian settlers, 
but it is clear from these figures that Minnesota had taken 
the lead and was drawing the great majority of the Norwe- 
gian and Swedish immigrants. 51 In the matter of the Ger- 
mans Minnesota was also securing a large number, even 
though only about one -third as many as Wisconsin. 

Among the publications put out by the board in 1880 
were 10,000 pocket maps of Wisconsin, in English, German, 
and Norwegian. 52 In 1881, 5,000 maps were sent to England 
and an equal number to Germany. About 25,000 pamphlets 
were printed jn 1881, 53 and in the following year close to 
30,000 were distributed. 54 In 1883, 19,884 maps and pam- 
phlets were sent out; in 1884, 17,016 ; 55 and in 1885-86, 

50 These totals are based upon tables printed in the annual reports for 1880, 
1881, and 1882, and the biennial reports for 1883-84 and 1885-86. It should 
be pointed out that the records kept at Milwaukee were imperfect, particularly 
in respect to destination. Many immigrants failed to go where they intended 
to go, but the agent at Milwaukee could not of course verify his figures in this 

61 Most of the Danes settled in Wisconsin. 

52 Annual Report of the Board of Immigration of the State of Wisconsin for 
the year ending December 31, 1880, 6. 

53 Annual Report of the Board of Immigration . . . for 1881, 11. 
M Annual Report . . . for 1882, 10. 

w Biennial Report . . . for the term ending D«CMn6«r 81, 1884, 11-12. 


Theodore C. Blegen 

23,032. fifl During the six years more than one hundred 
thousand pamphlets on Wisconsin were distributed. Con- 
siderable advertising was carried in foreign newspapers in 
these years also. For example, in 1881 advertisements were 
placed in newspapers in London and Frome, England; in 
Orebro, Sweden; in Hanover, Rostock, Gotha, Berlin, 
Stuttgart, Kaiserlautern, Regen, and other cities of Ger- 
many; in Vienna, Austria ; and in Berne, Switzerland. 57 In 
1882 forty-one German and Austrian newspapers were 
utilized for advertising purposes by the board. 58 

In 1880, at the request of the president of the Wisconsin 
Central Railroad, a land agent of that company, K. K. Ken- 
nan, was appointed European agent of the board without 
expense to the state. He was a very active worker, who 
desired the additional prestige which the state appointment 
would give him. He went to Europe in June, 1880, and 
directed his efforts chiefly toward securing Scandinavian and 
German immigrants. He distributed great numbers of docu- 
ments (in 1881 at least 75,000, of which 7,570 were official 
state publications), and advertised extensively in the news- 
papers. He asserts that at one time he had advertisements 
in two thousand papers. 59 In the course of his work he re- 
ceived and answered twenty thousand letters. 60 On account 
of German laws against advertising emigration schemes, he 
located his headquarters at Basel, Switzerland. 61 It appears 
that complaints were made against his activities. In the 
cantonal archives of Basel is to be found a police memoran- 
dum on the subject of whether Kennan's methods were in 
violation of the law. This memorandum is accompanied by 
a clipping from Der Volksfreund aus Schwab en, of Tiibin- 

M Biennial Report . . . for the term ending December 81, 1886, 11. 
m Annual Report . . . for 1881, 11-12. 

68 Annual Report . . . for 1882, 12-13. 

69 Annual Report . . . for 1881, 13. 

00 Wisconsin Historical Society Proceedings, 1907, p. 270, n. 14. 
81 He also established an office at Copenhagen, Denmark, as a center for his 
activities in the Scandinavian countries. 

The Competition of the Northwestern States 


gen, February 13, 1883, containing the following adver- 
tisement : 

AUSWANDERER ! Die fiinfte gemeinschaftliche Reise nach dem 
Staate WISKONSIN (Nordamerika), findet von Bremen aus, am 4. 
April, mit dem neuen Expressdampfer Elbe statt. Uberfahrt von Bremen 
nach New York nur neun Tage. Auskunft betreffs Reisekosten ertheilt 
die Direktion des Norddeutschen Lloyd in Bremen. Werthvolle Karten 
und Broschiiren iiber Wiskonsin sendet auf Verlangen gratis und porto- 
frei der Commissar der Einwanderungsbehorde genannten Staates: K. K. 
KENNAN in Basel, Schweiz. 62 

Concerning the influence of Kennan, Dr. Albert B. Faust 
writes, "Through his efforts and those of the board about 
five thousand immigrants were secured, mainly from the 
forest lands of Bavaria, and were distributed along the line 
of the Wisconsin Central Railroad from Stevens Point to 
Ashland. The inducement held out to them was good wages 
in the lumber camps, where they might in a short time earn 
enough to buy land and build homes." 63 Kennan soon found 
that competition for immigrant settlement was not confined 
to agencies operating in America alone. In 1882 he wrote 
from Europe, "Other states have numerous active, aggres- 
sive, well-paid agents in the field, who do not scruple to mis- 
represent Wisconsin and decry the superior inducements 
which she offers to emigrants. Unless some systematic effort 
is made to counteract these representations and to keep the 
people supplied with reliable information about Wisconsin, 
we must expect to see the great stream of immigration pass 
by us, and be turned to account in developing the prairies 
west of us." 64 

Minnesota established a Board of Immigration in 1867. 
It had one important advantage over the Wisconsin board, 

62 Albert B. Faust, Guide to the Materials for American History in 8witi 
and Austrian Archives, 118-19 (Washington, D. C, Carnegie Institution, 1 9 1 (> ) • 
The papers are listed under "Polizeidepartement Basel-Stadt." Dr. Faust gives 
the entire clipping. 

m The German Element in the United States, I, 478-79. 

"Annual Report . . . for 1882, 11. The board established in 1879 wis 
abolished by an act of 1887. Laws of Wisconsin, 1887, chapter The bo nd 
was headed during the period from 1879 on by J. A. Bccher of Milwaukee* 


Theodore C. Blegen 

namely in its liberal appropriation, which was usually 
$10,000 a year. 65 Its activities in respect to publishing and 
distributing pamphlets and maps and advertising the state 
by other means were very much like those of Wisconsin. 
Some of its schemes, made possible by its larger appropria- 
tion, improved upon the Wisconsin ideas. Swedish, Norwe- 
gian, and German agents were sent to meet immigrants in 
New Y ork, Montreal, and Quebec, to accompany them west- 
ward as guides and interpreters. 66 Upon reaching Minne- 
sota — the guides were careful to see that they did reach 
Minnesota — settlers were not infrequently furnished tem- 
porary homes. That the Minnesota board of immigration 
attempted chiefly to attract Scandinavians is due to a promi- 
nent and able Swedish-American, Hans Mattson, who was 
made its secretary. Like Colonel Johnson, he had made a 
reputation for himself in the Civil War. He was especially 
influential in inducing Swedes to come to Minnesota and in 
this connection made several trips to Sweden. On one of 
these, in 1869, he organized and led to America a party of 
eight hundred Swedish immigrants. 67 In 1873 he returned 
from a second voyage with a large shipload of immigrants. 68 
While acting as secretary of the board Mattson was also a 
land agent for a railroad running through Wright, Meeker, 
Kandiyohi, Swift, and Stevens counties, Minnesota. Of the 
results of this agency he wrote in his reminiscences, pub- 
lished in 1891 : "In the above-named localities there were 
only a few scattered families when I went there in 1867, while 
it is now one continuous Scandinavian settlement, extending 
over a territory more than a hundred miles long and dotted 
over with cities and towns, largely the result of the board of 

85 Hans Mattson, Reminiscences, The Story of an Emigrant, 97 (Saint Paul: 
D. D. Merrill Company, 1891). See also, for example, General Laws of Minne- 
sota, 1871, chapter L, pp. 104-105. 

86 Mattson, Reminiscences, The Story of an Emigrant, 99. 
m Ibid., 111. 

68 Ibid., 131. 

The Competition of the Northwestern States 


emigration during the years 1867, 1868, and 1869." 09 Like 
Wisconsin, Minnesota encountered some opposition and ill 
will in its immigration work. Mattson asserts that a promi- 
nent newspaper writer in Kansas accused him of selling his 
countrymen 4 'to a life not much better than slavery in a land 
of ice, snow, and perpetual winter, where, if the poor emi- 
grant did not soon starve to death, he would surely perish 
with cold." 70 

The report of the Minnesota board for 1871 shows that 
Minnesota had an aggressive agent at New York, named 
E. Page Davis. His office on Broadway was a bureau of 
general information. He made an arrangement with the 
Erie Railway Company whereby immigrants to Minnesota 
were to receive a reduction in fare of one-third and were like- 
wise to be permitted fifty pounds of extra free baggage. 
During his term of service a collection of Minnesota products 
was sent to the annual fair of the American Institute at New 
York. At the conclusion of the fair Mr. Davis had the 
exhibit placed in his office, where it was used as a concrete 
illustration of what Minnesota could produce. In addition 
to the usual kinds of advertising Minnesota had reprinted 
during the year 1871 the entire pamphlet on the state in the 
columns of the Free West, an emigration paper published 
in London. 71 

In 1850 the Territory of Minnesota according to the 
United States census had twelve Scandinavians. Wisconsin 
had 8,885 — of whom 8,651 were Norwegians. In 1870 Wis- 
consin counted in its foreign-born population 5,212 Danes, 

69 Ibid., 100. There is no intimation that it was thought other than proper 
thus to serve both state and railroad. 

70 Ibid., 101. 

n Report of the Board of Immigration of Minnesota, 1871, 62-67. The report 
states that in 1871 more than 34,000 pamphlets were printed and most of them 
distributed. As an illustration of the attitude of the western railroads, the 
St. Paul and Pacific, and the Lake Superior and Mississippi railroads erected 
"immigrant houses" along their lines. For information on later Minnesota Imml 
gration activities see, for example, Third Hicnnial Keport of thr Sfntr Board of 
Immigration, for the years 1885-1886. 


Theodore C. Blegen 

40,046 Norwegians, and 2,799 Swedes — a total of 48,057 
Scandinavians. Minnesota the same year had 1,910 Danes, 
35,940 Norwegians, and 20,987 Swedes — in all, 58,837 Scan- 
dinavians. Thus Minnesota had in 1870 about seven and 
one-half times as many Swedes as Wisconsin and 10,780 more 
Scandinavians than Wisconsin. This surprising fact is due 
to a number of causes, but it may safely be asserted, and 
especially with reference to the figures for the Swedish 
element, that Hans Mattson and the Minnesota Board of 
Immigration constituted one important reason. By 1890 
Minnesota had 99,913 Swedes, 101,169 Norwegians, and 
14,133 Danes; and Wisconsin had 13,885 Danes, 65,696 
Norwegians, and 20,157 Swedes. 72 

Iowa established a Board of Immigration in 1870. 73 It, 
too, copied the methods of Wisconsin. Supported by annual 
appropriations of $10,000, 74 it was able to carry out extensive 
plans. In addition to the usual campaign of advertising and 
pamphlet publication, it undertook to send agents to Europe 
where by means of paid advertisements, the distribution of 
pamphlets and maps, and their own personal influence, they 
aided considerably in turning a fair portion of the immigrant 
total to the state of Iowa. 75 Even the Territory of Dakota, 

72 The figures given refer to foreign-born only. See Appendix I, tables II, 
III, and IV, in Babcock, The Scandinavian Element in the United States. Chapter 
VII of the same work describes the expansion and distribution of the Scandina- 
vians in the period from 1850 to 1900. "The Dakotas, as one territory, received 
their first Norse settler in 1858, but when the census of 1880 was taken there were 
17,869, and in 1890, when the territory was divided into two states, the Scandi- 
navian contingent was more than 65,000 strong." Ibid., 72. 

73 Laws of Iowa, 1870, chapter 34. 

u Laws of Iowa, 1872, chapter 23; 1880, chapter 168. 

76 First Biennial Report of the Board of Immigration (Iowa), January 1, 
1872. In the first year fourteen agents were commissioned by the board as 
European representatives. Most of these served for little or no compensation 
and some of them were at the same time railroad agents. The first biennial 
report includes short reports from a number of these agents. One of these, by 
Henry Hospers, is of great interest. Hospers opened an office at Hoog Blokland 
in Zuid, Holland. His advertisements brought out so many letters of inquiry 
that he wrote and distributed a little eight-page pamphlet called Iowa. Shall I 
Emigrate to America? Practically answered by a Hollander who resided $4 
years in one of the best States in the Union. 

The Competition of the Northwestern States 27 

as early as March, 1885, created an office of Commissioner 
of Immigration, and during the next two years put out maps 
and pamphlets describing the great advantages of Dakota. 
The Commissioner was in fact so enterprising as to print 
regular monthly bulletins, seventeen of which were issued 
in all. 76 Resources of Dakota, printed at Pierre in 1887, is 
a typical Dakota pamphlet. Both South and North Dakota 
continued the work as separate states, the South Dakota 
commission having as late as 1916 an annual appropriation 
of $12,500. A typical Montana publication is The Treasure 
State: Montana and Its Magnificent Resources, published 
by the Bureau of Agriculture, Helena, 1899. Pacific North- 
west: Information for Settlers and Others (New York, 
1883) is the title of a pamphlet many editions of which were 
printed by the Oregon Board of Immigration. 

It remains to touch briefly upon the last period of Wis- 
consin's activity in respect to immigration. In 1895 the 
Board of Immigration was renewed for two years, with an 
appropriation of $10,000 for the period. 77 The next legisla- 
ture continued it two years longer, with an appropriation of 
$8,000. The board was at this time made up of the governor 
and the secretary of state and administered by a secretary 
who received $1,800 a year. 78 In 1899 the board was given 
another two-year lease and at the end of this time it went 
out of existence. 79 A law of 1905 authorized boards of super- 
visors in the counties to appropriate money to assist county 
associations in inducing settlers to come to Wisconsin. 80 In 
1907 the Board of Immigration was once more revived 81 and 
continued its activities until 1915. The work is at present 
handled by the Immigrant Division of the Department of 

w See the First Biennial Report of the Dakota Commission for 1885-1886. 

77 Laws of Wisconsin, 1895, chapter 235. 

78 Ibid., 1897, chapter 327. 
"Ibid., 1899, chapter 279. 
w Ibid., 1905, chapter 458. 
■ Ibid., 1907, chapter 407. 


Theodore C. Blegen 

Agriculture. The significant and characteristic thing with 
respect to this last period is that the state has been forced to 
direct its attention more and more to the problem of keeping 
its own citizens. The second biennial report for 1910, to 
illustrate, states that in fifteen Wisconsin counties during 
the preceding ten-year period 8,375 people had been "ex- 
ploited away" to other states. 82 An advertising and educa- 
tional campaign with use of posters, leaflets, pamphlets, 
lectures, and various forms of "extension" work has been car- 
ried on to cope with this situation. Another recent problem 
in Wisconsin, to which considerable attention has been given 
by the various boards of immigration, has been the settlement 
of the northern area of the state. On the whole, the situation 
of Wisconsin in this last period has resembled that of the 
eastern states in the earlier years of the westward movement. 

To evaluate accurately the activities of the various boards 
and commissioners of immigration in Wisconsin and its 
neighboring states is a difficult matter. These official state 
efforts must naturally be studied in conjunction with the 
activities of railroads, land companies, and other private con- 
cerns which sought actively to attract European immigrants. 
They must be considered in connection with European and 
American conditions which influenced the history of immi- 
gration. 83 The operations of the state governments were 
managed efficiently and on the whole honorably. The printed 
documents sent out were sometimes too glowing and opti- 
mistic, but there was probably no deliberate misrepresenta- 
tion; exaggeration was a fault of the private companies to 
a far greater degree than in the case of the states; compe- 
tition resulted in some instances perhaps in unscrupulous 
methods; the state immigrant officials were too often ham- 
pered by politicians who looked upon the office as legitimate 
political spoils. From the broad standpoint of advantage to 

82 Second Biennial Report of the State Board of Immigration (1910), 6-7. 

83 Cf. Mayo-Smith, Emigration and Immigration, chapter III. 

The Competition of the Northwestern States 29 

the states and to the immigrants themselves these immigra- 
tion agencies were of genuine benefit and clearly deserve his- 
torical appreciation. 

Into the northwestern states came hundreds of thousands 
of immigrants to settle the vacant lands and help develop the 
economic resources of the young commonwealths. The com- 
petition for immigrant settlement added to the strength of 
the West in respect to population, wealth, and social progress. 
Nor should the benefit to the immigrant himself be forgotten. 
The best proof of the value of the advertising campaigns 
described in the foregoing is to be found in the census figures 
for the four decades after 1860. Had the matter of immi- 
grant settlement been left to chance and to the natural factors 
influencing westward migration, it is likely that Wisconsin, 
Minnesota, Iowa, and the Dakotas would still have received 
a large share of the immigrants from northern Europe. But 
it is certain that the deliberate and carefully planned cam- 
paigns of these states added greatly to the movement. They 
resulted in greater emigration from Europe, and they in- 
creased the percentage of the total immigration which came 
into the Northwest. They help in considerable measure to 
explain the tremendous influx of Germans, Norwegians, and 
Swedes into Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa. Incidentally 
it may be remarked that the foreign elements in these states 
did not come here uninvited. They came in fact at the 
especial invitation of the state. 

Finally, in studying the history of the immigration move- 
ment and the official actions of the northwestern states in 
connection with it one glimpses something of the vigor, the 
buoyant optimism, and the clear vision of the future that 
have characterized these states in their formative periods. The 
energetic, forward-looking spirit of the American West finds 
a vivid illustration in these conscious efforts to draw westward 
to the golden opportunities of the New World the masses of 
people grown restless with the restraints, economic and other- 
wise, of the Old. 

Louise Phelps Kellogg 


The surface of Wisconsin is a glaciated region, with the 
exception of thirteen thousand square miles in the south and 
west which comprise the well-known driftless area. This was 
not covered by the glaciers that during the recent geological 
period carved the major portion of Wisconsin's surface. In 
the southern portion of the driftless area, comprising all of 
Wisconsin south of the Wisconsin and west of the Sugar 
rivers and also small neighboring portions of Iowa and 
Illinois, lead ore is deposited in large quantities. The ex- 
istence of these deposits was known to the French soon after 
the discovery of the Mississippi River. Lumps of lead among 
the Indians' belongings attracted the attention of the first 
explorers. Nicolas Perrot by 1684 visited the Wisconsin 
mines and operated them in a small way. Mention of lead 
mines below Wisconsin River appears on Delisle's map of 
1703. During the latter part of the French regime the 
lead mines of Missouri attracted more attention than those 
of Illinois and Wisconsin ; but with the coming of the English 
fresh interest was aroused by Jonathan Carver's description 
of the mines seen in 1766 from the Wisconsin River. By the 
time of the American Revolution extensive operations were 
being conducted at the lead mines on the Mississippi, where 
in 1780 Spanish and American prisoners were captured by 
an invading force from Mackinac, and fifty tons of lead ore 
were taken. 7 During the fur trade period bars of lead were 

'Ibid., XI, 151. 

The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848 


accepted in lieu of currency and in 1765 had an established 
value of five bars for a buckskin or a "middleing Bever." 8 
The operator best known during the latter years of the 
eighteenth century was Julien Dubuque, a French-Canadian, 
who in 1788 secured a land grant from the Sauk and Fox 
Indians and in 1796 one from the Spanish government. 
Dubuque's headquarters were near the Iowa city which now 
bears his name, but his prospectors ranged over the Illinois 
and Wisconsin side of the river and made superficial diggings 
in many places. He stated in 1805 that he mined annually 
from twenty thousand to forty thousand pounds, and he so 
encouraged the Indians to turn their attention to extracting 
lead that in 1811 their agent reported that the Sauk and 
Foxes had almost abandoned hunting for mining. 9 

During all this period, however, lead mining was acces- 
sory to the fur trade. Dubuque was a trader; so were the 
earliest American operators of whom we hear, George 
Davenport, Jesse Shull, Dr. Samuel C. Muir, Amos Farrar, 
and Russell Farnham. They purchased lead of the Indians, 
either to secure their debts or to furnish ammunition for 
future hunting. Lead was a by-product of the fur trade. 
Only as the American frontier approached the mining region 
did the production of lead become a factor in the development 
of the state. 


The progress of the frontier along the Mississippi River 
was retarded by the hostile attitude of the Indians of that 
region. The lead mines were the home of the united Sauk 
and Fox tribe, while throughout the eastern portion of the 
region lived the Rock River Winnebago, the fiercest and 
most hostile of all the central western tribes. After the War 
of 1812 the Winnebago refused to make peace with the 
United States and were kept in order only by fear of the 
troops stationed at Wisconsin posts. 

• Illinois Historical Collections, X, 403. 

• Wis. Hist. Colls., XI, 252. 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

The Sauk and Fox tribe jealously guarded their lead 
mines and quickly drove out any unwary miner who ven- 
tured into the region of their diggings. In 1804 a few chiefs 
of this tribe made a treaty at St. Louis by which on certain 
conditions all their lands east of the Mississippi were ceded 
to the United States. The tribe as a whole refused either 
to ratify this treaty or to observe its conditions, and the 
friction thereby engendered finally led to open hostilities. 
Disregarding the protest of the Sauk and Foxes, the govern- 
ment in 1816 regranted the territory north of a line through 
the southern end of Lake Michigan to the combined tribes 
of Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi Indians, who claimed 
but never occupied the lead mines. Within this cession the 
president was privileged to reserve five square leagues for 
mineral purposes. Still more to complicate the situation 
Congress on March 3, 1807 passed an act reserving to the 
government all mineral lands in Indiana Territory, of which 
Wisconsin was then a part, and authorizing leases of such 
lands for periods not to exceed five years. Because of the 
danger from Indian hostilities, no leases were taken in the 
northwestern lead region until 1822. Then in response to 
advertisements of the government several lessees secured 
permits. In April of that year Col. James Johnson of Ken- 
tucky formed a company for immediate operations. The 
War Department ordered an escort of troops from Fort 
Armstrong at Rock River, and from Fort Crawford at 
Prairie du Chien. Guarded by these forces, the Indian agent 
met the Sauk and Fox Indians at Fever River in June and 
wrung from them reluctant consent to Johnson's mining 
operations. 10 

In 1823 Dr. Moses Meeker of Cincinnati brought to the 
lead mines a colony, several of whom had government leases. 
During that summer there were seventy-four residents at the 
Iowa-Illinois mines. 11 

10 Draper Manuscripts, 4T126-29. 
u Wis. Hist. Colls., VI, 276-96. 

The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848 



The first mines within the area now included in Wisconsin 
were found in 1824 at New Diggings in Lafayette County. 
The same year John Bonner took out 1,700 pounds of ore 
in one day at Hazel Green in Grant County. The Indians, 
however, were so menacing that isolated prospecting was 
given up, and it was not until 1826 that plans for a perma- 
nent mining settlement were made. In the autumn of that 
year Henry and Jean Pierre Bugnion Gratiot, through the 
favor of a half-breed Winnebago woman, made a purchase 
from her tribe of the privilege of mining in its territory and 
removed their homes and smelting works to the site near 
Shullsburg, thereafter known as Gratiot's Grove. The next 
summer the Gratiots were obliged to leave temporarily be- 
cause of the hostilities known as the Winnebago War. 12 

This outbreak was occasioned by a false rumor of the 
ill treatment of some members of the tribe at Fort Snelling 
on the upper Mississippi. Its true cause was the restlessness 
of the Winnebago at the encroachments upon their lands and 
the removal of the restraining military forces from Fort 
Crawford. Actual hostilities were few, consisting of the 
murder of two French families near Prairie du Chien and 
an attack upon a Mississippi keel boat. The entire frontier, 
however, was alarmed. Henry Dodge at Galena enlisted a 
troop of mounted rangers. The regulars from Fort Howard 
at Green Bay and from Jefferson Barracks at St. Louis 
were set in motion towards Prairie du Chien. The Winne- 
bago tribe yielded to the show of force and at the Wisconsin 
portage delivered to the military officers three of the offend- 
ing chiefs. 

The surrender of Chief Red Bird on this occasion is one 
of the dramatic incidents of Wisconsin history. The Winne- 
bago warriors, playing slow music, and giving the death 

u Ibid., X, 269-70. 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

halloo, crossed the river to the army camp, preceded by Red 
Bird magnificently clothed in a full suit of white buckskin, 
and bearing himself with all the dignity of conscious tribal 
honor. Stepping forward to Colonel Whistler he lowered 
his proud head as if in expectation of immediate decapitation. 
Then stooping he gathered a pinch of dust and flung it away 
saying, "I have given away my life like that. I would not 
take it back. It is gone." Conveyed to prison at Prairie 
du Chien, this magnificent savage pined and died from the 
effects of confinement. Truly in Indian fashion he gave his 
life for his friends. 

This episode of the surrender ended the Winnebago War. 
The government next year built Fort Winnebago at the 
Fox- Wisconsin portage. The close of hostilities was the 
signal for a great rush to the Wisconsin mines. Captain 
Henry Dodge arrived at Dodgeville October 3, 1827, and 
bought from the humbled Winnebago the privilege of build- 
ing a smelter. John Rountree, George Wallace Jones, and 
the Parkinson brothers came the same autumn. The sites 
of Beetown, Darlington, Dodgeville, Platteville, Sinsinawa 
Mounds, and White Oak Springs were staked out. The 
next spring brought a greater rush of prospectors and specu- 
lators, so that by the close of 1828 there were from eight to 
ten thousand people at the lead mines. 

The mining process was not a difficult one; it was no 
more laborious than digging a well. Dodge, for example, 
had taken from his diggings by March, 1828, from three to 
four thousand dollars' worth of ore. M!any a miner made $100 
a week. The first smelter was that set up in 1826 by the 
Gratiots. In 1828 a furnace was built at Mineral Point, then 
popularly known as "Shake Rag under the Hill." So eager 
were the prospectors for ore that no time was taken to provide 
for necessities. During the summer many of the operators 
lived in tents ; with the coming of cold weather they removed 

The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848 


to abandoned shafts in the side of the hill. The residents of 
Wisconsin because of their burrowing habits were called 
"badgers." The Illinois teamsters, who disappeared with 
cold weather, were known as "suckers" from a migratory fish 
of western streams. Thus these historical sobriquets arose. 
All classes and conditions of men drifted to the mining region 
during this early rush. Men came who had known the luxu- 
ries of life, like William Schuyler Hamilton, son of Alexan- 
der Hamilton of New York. Most of the newcomers had 
seen something of pioneer life elsewhere on the frontier. 
Among the foreign-born several groups of Swiss removed 
from the Selkirk settlement on Red River. Cornish miners 
from England began coming in large numbers after 1832. 

Conditions of living were similar to those of other mining 
regions. Credit was easy; life was full of excitement and 
change. The rumor of a new "lead" caused a fresh rush to 
the new locality. The vices and virtues of such a frontier 
were in evidence. Drinking and gambling, quarrels and 
duels were common. By 1828 the Methodist circuit riders 
appeared at Mineral Point. Among the persons from the 
more cultivated classes the free and easy hospitality of the 
frontier prevailed. The visit of Mrs. Hamilton to her son 
at Wiota was an occasion when all the settled inhabitants vied 
with one another in attentions to this distinguished lady. 13 
A considerable degree of culture was current in southwest 
Wisconsin during this period. Ladies from the social circles 
of Paris and London lived here in familiar intercourse. Many 
private libraries were in possession of the mining operators. 
As early as 1830 a classical school was started at Mineral 
Point. To find the beginnings of Wisconsin culture the 
historian must study the early days in the mining community. 

K P Q S X Qii 

O u> o t> 'J Tl , 

The Indian title of all the land west of Pecatonica 
River was extinguished by the Treaty of 1829 at Prairie du 

"Ibid., 274-75. 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

Chien. Both the Winnebago and the united tribes of Chip- 
pewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi ceded their claims to the 
government. The latter opened a land office in 1834 at 
Mineral Point. Mining lands were not, however, open to 
entry and continued to be held under leases. Until 1830 ten 
per cent of the product was the rental price ; after that date 
six per cent. The provision exempting mineral lands from 
entry led to many frauds and evasions. Men led blindfold 
over the lands swore before the land office register that they 
had seen no mining operations. The fraudulent entry system 
was so notorious that in 1840 an investigation was ordered. 
In 1846 the leasing system was abandoned, and all lands were 
alike opened to entry. 

Lead was shipped out of Wisconsin by the river routes 
or hauled by teams to some convenient shipping point. In 
1830 Daniel Whitney, an enterprising Green Bay merchant, 
attempted lead manufacture near the mines. He formed 
a company to build a shot tower on the Wisconsin River, 
which in 1831 began operations. The tower was completed 
in 1833, and although it changed owners repeatedly, the 
manufacture of shot was continued until 1861. This enter- 
prise aided in upbuilding the lead region and diverted from 
Illinois and Missouri much lead that had formerly gone 
thither. 14 

The population in the mining region fluctuated with the 
price of lead. In 1829 this dropped from $5.00 per hundred 
to less than one-quarter that amount, while general prices 
appreciated. It required four thousand pounds of ore to 
purchase a barrel of flour. 15 Hard times checked the inrush 
of adventurers and sent hundreds of the floating population 
to other regions. Gradually prosperity and population re- 
turned; and by 1832 there was permanent occupation of 
southwestern Wisconsin — villages were incorporated, roads 

14 Ibid., XIII, 335-74 
u Ibid., II, 334-35. 

The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848 


were begun, and farms were opened. In 1830 Lucius Lyon, 
government surveyor, began to run the section lines. 

The center of the region was Mineral Point, which in 

1829 became the seat of the new county of Iowa. There in 

1830 a session of the United States court was held. Mineral 
Point was candidate for the capital of a proposed territory 
west of Lake Michigan, suggested by Judge James D. Doty 
as early as 1824. In 1827-28 a bill to erect Chippewau Ter- 
ritory passed the House of Representatives, but failed in the 
Senate. In 1830 a bill for Huron Territory was introduced 
providing for the territorial capital at Doty's town of 
Menominee on Fox River. The opposition of the lead- 
mining region to this latter provision defeated the considera- 
tion of the bill. Mineral Point remained for some years the 
largest and most important town in Wisconsin. Meanwhile 
Dodgeville, Platteville, Shullsburg, and Lancaster grew and 
improved, and Cassville was begun as a Mississippi port. 

When Wisconsin Territory was organized in 1836 the 
mining region had a larger share of its population and a 
more settled mode of living than any other section. It 
strongly inclined to the type of life in Missouri and southern 
Illinois, whence many of its prominent members had mi- 
grated. A few slaves were kept for domestic purposes, a 
generous hospitality prevailed, schools and churches were 
being built, and the foundations were laid for a genuine 
American community. 


With the exception of the mineral region and the old 
Franco- American posts of Green Bay, Prairie du Chien, and 
Portage, Wisconsin in 1832 was a wilderness given over to 
wild animals and Indians. Much of its southern portion was 
considered uninhabitable, a land of swamps and morasses. 
The outside world became acquainted with Wisconsin as the 
result of a frontier war. 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

For more than a decade before 1832 the United States 
had not experienced a genuine Indian panic. A generation 
had grown up since the battle of Tippecanoe, and the fron- 
tier had been pushed to the outskirts of Illinois. The new 
generation, likewise, was thrilling with the Indian romances 
of James Fennimore Cooper. \The Spy was published in 
1821, and the Last of the Mohicans in 1826. Both the quali- 
ties and powers of the aborigines were regarded through the 
mists of romance. For these and similar reasons the Black 
Hawk War was a genuine epoch in the history of Wisconsin. 

Black Hawk, himself not a chief, was the leader of a band 
of the Sauk tribe, whose major portion took no part in the 
hostilities of 1832. Black Hawk's was known as the British 
band, because of long relationship with the officers of that 
nation at Maiden. The warrior deluded himself into think- 
ing he should have the support of the British authorities in 
his defiance of the Americans. He likewise expected aid 
and comfort from the Potawatomi and Winnebago, who 
were secretly sympathetic, but in wholesome fear of the 
United States troops. Black Hawk considered himself and 
his followers the victims of deep wrongs at the hands of the 
frontiersmen, who had driven him from his ancestral village 
and maltreated many of his tribe. He decided to ignore 
the prohibitions of the American authorities and to return 
to his ancestral home, intending to maintain his position by 
force if necessary. 

Early in April Black Hawk's band crossed the Mississippi 
below Rock Island. So little was a hostile attempt anticipated 
that the Indian agent at the lead mines, Col. Henry Gratiot, 
was at St. Louis, leaving a defenseless family at Gratiot's 
Grove. Black Hawk's action was interpreted by the border- 
men as an act of hostility, notwithstanding he had with him 
all the women and children of his band, who never accompany 
a true war party. Governor John Reynolds of Illinois yielded 
to panic and summoned the state's militia to repel the in- 

The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848 


vaders. Wisconsin's lead-mine region was peculiarly endan- 
gered. If the Illinois troops attacked they would drive the 
infuriated tribesmen directly into the mining settlements. 
The Winnebago on their eastern border were notoriously 
untrustworthy. The inhabitants at once adopted the frontier 
method of "forting." Log posts were built at Dodge's, 
Parkinson's, Hamilton's, Gratiot's, Brigham's at Blue 
Mounds, and many other places. Colonel Dodge, acting .as 
a militia officer, enlisted a large force of roughriders; mines 
were abandoned and the women and children conveyed to 
the rude log forts. 

In May, Dodge determined to hold a council with the 
Winnebago, and accompanied by Gratiot, who had narrowly 
reached home alive after an attempted interview with Black 
Hawk in person, set out with an escort of fifty troopers for 
the country at the head of Fourth Lake. Opposite the site 
of Madison a council was held at which the Winnebago 
promised fidelity to the whites. In token of this agreement 
they soon delivered over to the commandant at Blue Mounds 
two captive girls taken by the Sauk after a massacre in 
northern Illinois. < 

The prompt action of Dodge and Gratiot saved the lead 
mines. Black Hawk, infuriated by the Illinois militia, 
ravaged the frontier of that state. Only isolated murders 
occurred in Wisconsin; one skirmish was fought on the six- 
teenth of June at Pecatonica River. By the end of June 
danger to the mining settlements was over. Black Hawk 
and his warriors had been driven into the Lake Koshkonong 
region, then an unsettled wilderness, and were being pursued 
by a force of regulars and militia ten times their number. 

In the final rout Dodge's men took a conspicuous part 
The Indians, driven from their retreat, were pursued north- 
west through the Four Lakes to Wisconsin River, where a 
stand was made to permit the women and children to escape. 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

The Indians' line of defense was broken through and hun- 
dreds of red men were ruthlessly cut down. The remnant 
fled to the Mississippi where the final tragedy occurred on 
August 2. The poor starving fugitives seeking to escape 
across the river were mowed down by fire from the pursuing 
troops and by that from the steamboat Warrior. The ruthless 
massacre was a disgrace to the American people. Black 
Hawk, taken alive, was carried as a prisoner through the 
eastern states and paraded as a curiosity. The last Indian war 
in Wisconsin was over. The forts in the mining regions soon 
fell into decay; the next year the Indian title to all territory 
south of the Fox- Wisconsin waterway was extinguished. 
Wisconsin was moreover placed upon the map of the United 
States. Returning troopers praised her soil and fertility. 
Eastern newspapers exploited her inviting opportunities for 
emigrants. Pamphlet literature furnished travelers' guides. 
After two hundred years of seclusion Wisconsin was opened 
for colonization by the surplus population of the older states. 16 

16 The best brief account of the Black Hawk War is that of R. G. Thwaites 
in Wis. Hist. Colls., XII, 217-67 ; revised and improved in his volume of essays 
entitled, How George Rogers Clark Won the Northwest (Chicago, 1903), 113-98. 
Black Hawk's Autobiography, edited by M. M. Quaife, was published by the 
Lakeside Press of Donnelly and Company, Chicago, in December, 1916. 

(To be continued) 


In the March issue of this Magazine was given some 
account of the connection of Theodore Roosevelt with the 
State Historical Society during the last third of a century. 
The striking portrait of our late leader of Americanism 
which we are privileged to present has an interesting albeit 
pathetic history. Our engraving is from a photostatic print 
made in the Wisconsin Historical Library of a simple pen 
and ink drawing of the late ex-President made by Robert 
Elliott, an inmate of Wan pun. Elliott is a man of univer- 
sity training and, it hardly need be added, an expert penman. 
This skill combined with a weakness for alcohol has proved 
his undoing. Under the influence of liquor he twice forged 
checks for sums of money, an offense he has never been 
tempted to commit when sober. Although the total amount 
thus secured was less than forty dollars, he has passed half a 
dozen years in prison; and when pardoned from Waupun 
in March, 1919, a deputy was in waiting to lead him to prison 
in a distant state. The original drawing of Mr. Roosevelt 
was given by Elliott to Hon. John L. Grindell of Platteville, 
a member of the visiting committee of the legislature to 
inspect the several state institutions. To Mr. Grindell ac- 
knowledgment is due both for the information here set forth 
and for the privilege of reproducing the portrait. 


Rude are the methods of administering justice in the 
wilderness or on the frontier. The refinements of legal pro- 
cedure as practiced in older-established society are likely to 
be disregarded in favor of resort to a rough-and-ready ad- 
justment of accounts between the parties concerned. Par- 
ticularly is this likely to be the case when to the other factors 
ordinarily present on the frontier is added the clash of dif- 
ferent races, the one superior and masterful, the other inferior 
and submissive. 

In the pioneer period of Wisconsin's development oc- 
curred numerous clashes between representatives of the red 
race and the white, not always due, it is sad to confess, to 
wrongdoing on the part of the former. Commonly these 
events pass into oblivion with no record being made con- 
cerning them for the enlightenment of other times. Jointly 
to John Bracklin, one of the participants, and to Henry E. 
Knapp are we indebted for the preservation of the narra- 
tive which follows. In itself an excellent story of adven- 
ture, simply yet forcefully told, it possesses also a real 
historical significance in that many of the aspects which 
the tale presents are typical of similar clashes between red 
man and white in the age-long period of association and 
struggle they have undergone since the first coming of the 
whites to America. 

The narrator, James Bracklin, was the father of John L. 
Bracklin whose remarkable description of a Wisconsin forest 
fire was published in the issue of this magazine for Septem- 
ber, 1917. James Bracklin was for over thirty years super- 
intendent of logging and log driving for the Knapp-Stout 
Lumber Company of Menomonie. Barker, his associate in 

A Tragedy of the Wisconsin Pinery 


the adventure, was Bracklin's predecessor in this position, 
holding it for a period of several years. Concerning the 
recording of the narrative Mr. Knapp writes: "I took this 
down in shorthand as he [Bracklin] related it to the directors 
of our company, at one of their annual meetings, at their 
request. We had all heard it before, and the older members 
who were living here at the time remembered the circum- 
stances and said it was all true — only that Mr. Bracklin 
minimized his part in it." 


IN 1864 

Two men had gone out from Stillwater to look over a site for a 
logging camp. They were up in St. Croix County, and from what 
was afterwards learned this is what occurred to them : 

The men were walking through a strip of brush land half to three 
quarters of a mile wide along the river ; they were apparently making 
their way to the river. Two Indians were coming up the river in a 
canoe and heard the men talking, and the Indian that shot himself, a 
man about twenty-one years of age and a very hard looking citizen, 
said that the other Indian proposed that they land and kill the white 
men. This he claimed he did not want to do, as he was a good Indian, 
but that they did land, and the other Indian shot one of the men. 
The Indian that did not want to do the shooting claimed to me after- 
wards that he was horror stricken ; that he was a good Indian, but 
that the other Indian kept urging him to shoot, shoot, shoot, and 
finally on the impulse of the moment he shot and badly wounded the 
second man. The first man who was shot was wounded and ran away 
and wandered around with the other Indians after him and finally he 
came back to where his partner was lying, and the Indians caught 
the man and killed botli of them. The Indians then went to work 
and cut them all up into small pieces and sunk them in the lake. They 
claimed that by cutting into small pieces and puncturing frequently 
with holes there would be no air form, and piece9 would not rise to 
the surface. 


James Bracklin 

When the men did not return home their friends were uneasy and 
finally began to search for them and did search for three months. In 
June, 1864, about three hundred were said to be out in the woods in 
parties searching for them. The search ran along until August or 
early September. There were several bands of Chippewa encamped 
at Rice Lake and Chetek. The old Chetek Chief learned that troops 
were on the way from Menomonie and he became very uneasy. There 
was no foundation for the fact that troops were coming, but he heard 
it so, and he thought better to "squeal." The Indians at Rice Lake 
had been complaining about the dam that we had built there raising 
the water so that it pulled the rice out by the roots and spoiled their 
rice beds, and we had consulted with the old Chief several times and 
tried to settle matters with him, but without coming to any under- 
standing that was satisfactory to him. The first head of water we 
drew from Rice Lake after the dam was built, the logs jammed 
about Cranberry Creek. This was August, 1864. 

I went down to Menomonie, and Captain Wilson told me of the 
disappearance of these men in St. Croix County, and I said they must 
have been murdered by the Indians or they would have been found. 
We were out in the woods a good deal and knew that if they killed 
some and were not found out, they would likely kill others, and 
that this should be looked into, and the murderers found if possible. 
Captain Wilson said that was right, and that if we should find them 
and needed any help, to send word to him and he would send us help. 
So when the old Chief at Chetek sent a messenger to us at Louseburg, 
Barron County, Wisconsin, where I was hauling logs with four or 
five ox teams and seven or eight men, we thought that, as he wanted 
us to come down and see him at Chetek it was on account of the rice 
beds again, and we did not want to go, as we were busy, but the 
messenger said that the old Chief had something to tell us, so Mr. 
Barker and I walked down there. (Samuel B. Barker at that time 
had a small trading post at Louseburg). A crew of men were at 
work finishing the Chetek dam. It was late in the evening, so we went 
to bed in a tent, and the next morning the cook said the Indians had 
come from the rice beds and were camping along the Pokegama Nar- 
rows, and that there was a great deal of commotion that morning, 
and that some were coming down the lake in a canoe, with a flag 

A Tragedy of the Wisconsin Pinery 


They finally landed and camped right in front of the shanty and 
put up a flag, the Stars and Stripes. The cook said that war was 
about to begin sure. S. P. Barker knew this old Chief, and the Chief 
thought a great deal of Barker, and word came in to Barker that the 
Chief wanted to interview Barker and Bracklin out in the jack pines 
in a secluded place ; that he had a very important communication to 
make. We did not want to go so far, but finally went out fifty rods, 
and then a little farther, and a little farther, and finally in an open 
space the old Chief sat down, and we sat down also. The Chief was a 
very ceremonious old fellow. He opened the ball by inquiring 
whether the man that had been lost over in St. Croix County had 
been found. I did not know, but I did not let him know it, but I said : 
"Oh, yes, they were killed by the Indians." The Chief smoked a 
minute and said, "That is true," and then went on and told us all 
about it. 

The Chief understood that troops were coming, and as his band 
did not have anything to do with this murder he wanted us to protect 
his band and tell the commander of the troops that they were good 
Indians. He told us all about the murder and who the men were. 
I knew one of the men and so did Barker. He said that the men 
got quite a lot of money from the clothes of one of the murdered 
men, and we learned that it was probably about $1,500, as one of 
these men was a kind of a miser, who carried his money with him 
wherever he went. We knew that there were no troops coming, and 
that there was no danger in that direction to the old Chief, but told 
him that we would look after his interests, and decided that we would 
keep an eye out for the gentleman Indian that did the murder, and 
so we went back to camp. 

Barker went on to Louseburg. Joe Queen was one of the ox 
teamsters, and we used to let the cattle run in the woods at night, and 
Joe went out to look for them in the morning and walked as far as 
Louseburg, not finding them. Barker sent word to me to come to 
Louseburg at once, and I got there at seven in the morning, and 
Barker told me that one of those Indians had showed up, and that 
there were quite a lot of Indians there, and we decided to try and 
catch him, but did not know how we were to proceed. Barker pro- 


James Bracklin 

posed that we send for the seven men that were at Chetek, but I said 
no, that we had better take him ourselves. 

The Indians were camped just a little way above Louseburg. I 
was not on particularly good terms with the Indians myself just 
then. They were feeling good and had plenty to eat and were 
gambling. They had lots of devices for gambling. One game was to 
lay a blanket out on the ground, and the leader had two moccasins 
and a bullet, and he moved them around over the blanket, and then 
betting would commence as to where the bullet had been left, under 
which moccasin. After all the bets were in the fellow picks up a rod 
and strikes the moccasin that had or that he thought had the bullet 
under it. These Indians bet anything, from their moccasins even to 
their souls. We saw them gambling and of course looked around 
and we saw the Indian we wanted sitting on a log, looking on. There 
were seventy-five to one hundred Indians there. The gamesters paid 
no attention to us. I noticed a vacant seat on the log beside the 
Indian, and I thought I would just go over and sit down beside him, 
so I walked over quietly, not looking at him, just looking at the 
place where I was going to sit down, but just before I got to it the 
Indian got up and stepped over the log away a step or two, and I sat 
down. He went off and sat down somewhere else, and Barker fol- 
lowed my tactics and tried to sit down by the Indian where he was 
then, and then he moved again, and I tried to get near him again, 
and we kept up that kind of tactics for perhaps an hour and a half. 

Finally one player got broke, and he was not satisfied to stop 
playing, and he went to a tent and got two mink skins. This was in 
the summer time, and mink skins were pretty poor then, but he 
brought them out and wanted to sell them to Barker. Barker kept 
some calico and things of that kind to trade with the Indians in a 
little house that he had there, keeping them locked up in a chest. 
Barker told him that they were not much good, but he wanted a little 
calico to go on with the game, and Barker finally told him that he 
would give him 25 cents each in goods for them, and they started 
down to the store to get them. All the Indians came down. They 
wanted to do a little trading, too, and they all came into the store, 
but this one Indian stayed outside. 

A Tragedy of the Wisconsin Pinery 


Barker went into the little building which we called a store and 
noticing that this Indian did not come in he thought he would try to 
get him in by some strategy and so he began feeling around in his 
pocket for his keys to open the chest, and while he had the keys 
there he made an excuse that he would have to go down to his camp a 
few rods away after the keys, and so he stepped out, but the Indian 
stepped right away from the door, and then Barker went on down, 
but looking back saw that the Indian had stepped into the door 
again, and Barker turned around and came back, thinking that the 
Indian would then walk into the store ahead of him, but he did not do 
that, but stepped back out again. Barker went in and made an ex- 
cuse to pick up something that he had apparently forgotten to take 
down to the camp and then went out again and down to the camp, 
and the Indian again stood in the door, but when Barker came back, 
instead of going in, he stepped off to one side again, so Barker came 
in and got his goods out on the little counter, and of course kept his 
eye on the Indian as much as possible, and I did, too, though of 
course neither pretending to do so. 

There was a fiddle on the wall, and I took it down and began to 
saw away, and the Indian stood in the door, and after a while he for- 
got himself and came inside. Of course Barker saw this, and he 
worked his way down behind the counter quietly, all the time talking 
to the Indians and showing the goods, and when he got pretty near 
down to the door and saw that the Indian was off his guard, Barker 
jumped over the counter towards the door. The Indian saw it and 
rushed for the door. Barker grabbed him, and the first grab tore his 
shirt off slick and clean, and the next grab he got him by the wrist, 
and the Indian was all outside except the wrist that Barker held. 

In the meantime, I rushed to the rescue and I grabbed the Indian 
by the hair and jerked him back inside of the room and closed the 
door. The Indians, in the meantime, before I closed the door, had all 
rushed out. As soon as I closed the door and put in the pin, the door 
came in broken off of its hinges, and all the Indians came in with it. 
We had pulled the Indian to the back part of the store, and he had 
of course fought like a good fellow, and to keep him we had pounded 
him and kicked him, in the melee, and when these Indians came in they 
grabbed hold of him to pull him out of the door, and they pulled him 


James BracMin 

one way and we pulled the other, and he was dragged back and forth 
in that store from one end to the other a great many times, and he 
was so bruised up that he was practically useless himself. He could 
not help himself, or, if he could, he would have got away. We kept 
this thing up for about an hour, and they could not get him, and 
they saw it, so they sent to Rice Lake and the Forks of Yellow River 
for a band of Indians that were encamped there to come and help 

There was an old Indian called "Krokodokwa," and he came and 
asked what the trouble was. This old Indian was friendly, and 
Barker, after telling the old Indian what we were trying to do said, 
"I think I can get this old Krokodokwa to take a note down to Chetek 
to Henry Sawyer to come up and bring his gang, and so I wrote a 
note and Barker talked with Krokodokwa and he said he would take 
the note down. The Indians outside got wind of it in some way or 
other and they told the old Indian that they would kill him if he did. 
He took the note and ran for the bank of the river, and then along 
under the bank down the river quite a number of rods. The Indians 
got out on the bank and began shooting at him, but fortunately for 
him they did not hit him, and he finally got across the river and got 
away, but they kept chasing and shooting at him, and for half an 
hour we could hear shots. He delivered the note, and Sawyer quietly 
said to the men, "Barker and Bracklin want all hands at Louseburg. 
Did not say what for." And they started along slowly, the old Indian 
and Sawyer bringing up the rear. 

The old Indian said to Sawyer, "You better hurry up. Barker 
and Bracklin are in trouble up there ; the Indians are making trouble 
with them." Sawyer then told the men, and they deliberated as to 
whether they would go up and get murdered or what they would do. 
They did not have any arms, except perhaps one old gun, but they 
finally came along until they got near enough to Louseburg so they 
could see the camp, but they could not see anything of Barker or me, 
and while stopping there the band of Indians from Yellow River came 
up behind them and drove them into Louseburg. The Indians 
crowded around and demanded that we deliver the Indian we had to 
them. We said, "You can't have him." The Indians had come down 
from Rice Lake too. We explained to them several times why we were 

A Tragedy of the Wisconsin Pinery 


holding this Indian and that we were not going to do him any harm, 
but would send him to Stillwater where he would have trial. We told 
them several times that he had killed two men. They tried several 
times to get him away, but failed. 

We had one old horse there, and I said to Barker that we better 
send word right away to Captain Wilson, so I wrote a note, and J oe 
Queen got the horse out and took the note, and I told him to get to 
Menomonie just as quick as he possibly could. The Indians fired at 
him as he went away but did not hit him. The Indians all the rest of 
that day were very uneasy and they yelled and caroused, and finally 
it came dark, and we did not have any candles or oil or any lamps. 
The only thing that there was there was some deer tallow and candle 
wicking and the moulds, and Barker went down to the shanty to make 
some candles. 

The mother and sister of the Indian we had, came in to see him, 
and we let them in, and the parting between the mother and the son 
was really very touching. She evidently knew that he had been ad- 
vised by the other Indians to kill himself rather than be taken away. 
There was one young Indian came to the door and asked to be allowed 
to go in and see this other Indian, and the Indian himself said yes 
he would like to see him, and so we let him in, and he sat down on the 
floor near him and talked away for half an hour, and then he got up 
and went out. We never thought of his bringing in any arms to the 
Indian, but he had brought and delivered to the Indian an old two- 
barrel pistol. Our Indian went over close to the wall, and with his 
face to the wall at a crack where the chinking was out, he sang a song, 
and the Indians on the outside kept passing along on the outside and 
speaking a word to this Indian now and then, and about nine o'clock a 
cap snapped. I knew that it was inside the building, because I could 
sec the flash, and while the Indians had been shooting a good deal out- 
side and some of the bullets had come through the walls during that 
afternoon and evening, this was different from any of those shots, 
and I did not know what he intended to do, whether he intended to 
fire among us and create a commotion and in the dark escape, but at 
any rate I think he placed the pistol over ln's shoulder and pulled 
the trigger. I saw the light of the flash and jumped for the Indian, 
but our men jumped, too, and rushed for the door, and as it WM 


James Bracklin 

dark they shoved me along towards the door, and one man in the 
rush got out of the door, but I braced myself in the door and held on 
and kept the others from getting out. I kept the door barricaded. 

In the meantime, the Indian had placed the pistol against his 
breast low down and pulled the trigger. Of course he made a big 
hole in himself and finally he fell over. I did not know whether he 
was playing possum or not. By this time Barker came with the 
candles and I said to Barker, "I am afraid that fellow is playing 
possum. We better be pretty careful." So we closed the door and 
guarded it, and then went and examined the Indian, and he was a 
good Indian fast enough, that is, dead. The Indians outside were 
very much excited and they came right away and accused me to 
Barker of having killed the Indian. I told Barker it didn't matter 
whether I did or not ; the Indian was dead. They wanted the Indian's 
body, and we said we would not give it to them, and finally, after 
keeping him until about three o'clock in the afternoon we buried him. 

Joe Queen had reached Menomonie early in the morning and went 
right to Captain Wilson's house and told the Captain how the situa- 
tion was and gave him my note, and the Captain at once sent out to 
get a number of men, and he sent seventeen of them up in wagons by 
way of Twenty- two Mile Ford. As soon as Joe Queen started out 
some of the Indians started out and followed down after him, and 
during the day the Indians around the cabin at Louseburg would 
hear every five minutes as to how the help that was coming from 
Menomonie were proceeding. We could tell every five minutes just 
where they were and what progress they were making. Of course 
they made a mistake in the number that was coming ; they sometimes 
got it as high as twenty-five wagon loads of help, but that help was 
coming they knew. Of course they must have got their information 
by signals. 

When we buried the Indian three old Indians came and looked on, 
and Barker told them what this Indian had done and how he had 
cut up these men, etc., and he did not tell it all, for one of them spoke 
up and said, "Yes, he cut off his ears too." The men from Menomonie 
came along as far as my camp, and there they heard that the Indian 
was dead and buried, so they stopped and got some supper and then 
came on. The Indians there wanted protection from the army, but 

A Tragedy of the Wisconsin Pinery 


the army came and there were only seventeen men, and so we sat 
around and visited and talked the matter over that night and they 
went back. 

The next morning there was not a spot on my body that was 
not as sore as a boil. I tell you that after we got started in that 
scrape we had to stay in it, or else there would have been no living in 
that part of the country. If they had got that Indian away from 
us, we could not have stayed there. We would have been glad to 
have got out of it within two minutes after we were in it, if we could 
have done so, but, as we could not, we made the best of it. Of course, 
those of you who know Barker know that he was a six-footer, a giant 
in strength, and as brave as a lion. He didn't know what fear was, 
but he was of a very quiet disposition ; he never swore — was educated 
for a minister — but during that fight he hit every Indian within reach 
and was a terror. 


Edited by R. G. Plumb 

From time to time side lights upon the real life of the 
soldier boys of '61 are afforded by the finding of letters 
written by them during their years of service. Such a series 
recently came to light in the correspondence of James H. 
Leonard, 1 Company A of the Fifth Wisconsin Infantry. 
This young patriot before the breaking out of the civil strife 
was a school-teacher at Branch, Manitowoc County. His 
letters show a thoughtfulness and power of expression often 
lacking in the missives of less educated boys. These letters 
were addressed to Mary Sheldon, later Mrs. P. J. Pierce of 

Company A left Manitowoc June 23, 1861 on the Good- 
rich steamer, Comet. Upon arrival at Madison its members 
were inducted into the United States service at Camp Ran- 
dall. The Madison State Journal of the time noted that 
"They are strong, hardy men from the lumbering districts, 

1 James H. Leonard was born in 1843 in Brooklyn, N. Y., whither his father 
Stephen and his mother Mary Howard Leonard had removed from England. 
Stephen Leonard was a sea captain and died when his son was sixteen years of 
age. The same year young Leonard migrated to Wisconsin, where he made his 
home at Manitowoc. In the winter of 1860-61 he studied for a time at Madison. 
When he enlisted May 4, 1861 in the Manitowoc Company A of the Fifth Wis- 
consin Volunteers he was scarcely eighteen years of age, but had already taught 
school in Manitowoc County. His war history is related in the following letters. 
He received a gunshot wound in his arm at Rappahannock Station. When his 
term of enlistment expired he was offered a first lieutenant's commission, but 
declined it, and was mustered out July 27, 1864. Thereafter he returned to 
Manitowoc and continued teaching. In 1868 he was one of two survivors of the 
ill-fated steamship Seabird that was burned off Kenosha. The previous year 
Mr. Leonard had married Martha Gould of Kenosha, and in July, 1874 the 
Leonards removed to Green Bay. There Mr. Leonard was city superintendent 
of schools from 1878 to 1885. In 1889 he was appointed collector of internal 
revenue. After the expiration of his term in 1893 he entered the life insurance 
business. Mr. Leonard was a member of Green Bay Methodist Church and for 
several years superintendent of the Sunday school. He was also connected with 
the Knights of Pythias and other societies. He died in 1901. His only daughter, 
Mrs. Fay Jones, a graduate of Lawrence College, now resides in Aurora, Illinois. 

From a war-time daguerreotype 

Letters of a Fifth Wisconsin Volunteer 


who have been well drilled in machinery but have not been 
exercised in the manual of arms." The captain of Company 
A was popular with his men. In front of his tent at the camp 
white pebbles were utilized to make this inscription: "Captain 
Clark, God Bless Him." During the war the record of the 
Fifth Wisconsin was a noble one. After the first battle of 
Bull Run the regiment was hurried to the front where the 
first of these letters was written. 

Camp Cobb Near Washington 
August 15th 1861 

Friend Mary 

I was much pleased to receive your kind letter in connection with 
Lucre tia's last Saturday I had just wrote a letter to Jerry, and 
Sunday I wrote to Keed knowing that if I did not write Sunday I 
should not have an opportunity again for a few days, having to go 
out on picket duty, on which I started early Monday morning and 
was stationed about six miles from our camp up the Potomac Our 
pickets from this division (Gen McClellans) extend all along up the 
Potomac until they meet those thrown out from Harpers Ferry by 
Gen Banks, and thus the whole line is continually guarded. I re- 
turned from such duty this (Thursday) morning This is my first 
and greatest excuse for not answering your note before though ac- 
cording to the mail facilities I should not be surprised if this arrived 
at the Branch as quick as Keed's and Jerry's, and now I have got at 
it I find it a very difficult task, for it is a new thing for me to write 
to ladies, in addition to all this The acquaintance between us being 
my term of service in the war But there is a commencement to 
everything they say and so there must be a commencement of writing 
to ladies, in addition to all this The acquaintance between us being 
of a very limited nature makes it difficult to write anything that will 
interest you But when I do the best I can I trust you will bear with 
the dullness thereof Your note as well as Lucretia's was as surpris- 
ing to me as it was cheering and welcome and as I believe I men- 
tioned to Jerry once, every such manifestation of friendship on the 
part of those that we loft behind us helps to increase our courage and 
remove to a great extent the lonesomeness and troubles which crosses 
our pathway with such backers and companions as we have in the 



army with us and knowing that we have the sympathy of nearly all in 
the North and a number in the South, it would be almost impossible 
for the greatest coward to be anything but a brave man here, and 
then believing that God is on our side and feeling that we have such 
prayers as you prayed in your letter that God would prosper us and 
bring us off victoriously and restore peace to our country once more, 
we are enabled to have stronger hopes that we shall succeed, and the 
war be closed sooner than though we only were dependent on our own 
strength and though some of us may come to our end on the field, it 
is good to feel that we die in a glorious cause, a cause on which not 
only depends to a great extent in the success thereof the happiness 
not only of us that live at present, but the future generations through- 
out the world but I forbear on saying anymore on this subject for I 
know that it is deeds that are expected of us soldiers and not words, 
and I have been talking all my life for the cause of liberty but now 
the time is nigh at hand when I shall have a chance to aid by deed this 
cause and I shrink not from doing my duty. We have in our regi- 
ment seven ladies, namely the wife of the Colonel, the wives of four of 
the Captains, the daughter of the Surgeon and Miss Eliza T Wilson 
who is styled the daughter of the regiment Miss Wilson is the 
daughter of a wealthy mill owner at Menomonee There is one 
company in our regiment (the pinery rifles) which is composed almost 
wholly of men who have been a long time in her fathers employ and 
she accompanied them to camp and has been with the regiment ever 
since I understand she is engaged to the orderly sargeant of the 
company She goes in bloomer costume acts as hospital assistant 
and is a noble hearted girl . Some of the boys have raised one hundred 
and fifty dollars for the purpose of purchasing a gold watch to 
present her, There is continual movement of troops in this vicinity 
Three months volunteers going home, and three years volunteers 
coming out We feel somewhat disheartened over the news of the 
death of Gen Lyon and the partial defeat of our troops in Missouri, 
but we do not despair of success there finally, though the western 
division of the army is separated by a distance from us it has in the 
person of Gen Fremont a leader than whom we believe there is no 
better commander lives at the present day I would wish that this 
could be as interesting to you as yours was to me but I have no such 

Letters of a Fifth Wisconsin Volunteer 


hope I close by repeating the request that I made to Keed that I 
may hear from you and her often 

I remain your friend 

James H Leonard 2 

Headquarters Fifth Regt., Wis Vol Camp Advance Co. A 
Fairfax Co Virginia Sept 12th 1861 

Miss M E Sheldon 

I now find myself seated for the purpose of once more writing to 
you With my knapsack as a chair and my bayonet for a candlestick 
I proceed to work, We still lie in the same place as at the date of my 
letter to Lucretia, We had an engagement yesterday at Falls 
Church vicinity There was a couple of rebel batteries erected there, 
and they were supported by a number of infantry and cavalry, Our 
forces or rather a detachment of them were sent out for the purpose 
of capturing them, The rebels retreated at their first appearance, 
but rallied again and made a desperate effort to flank our troops but 
did not succeed, The Commanding General of our forces, General 
Smith, then invited them to come out of the woods and give battle on 
the open field, To this they would not consent but immediately 
opened fire on the union forces which was returned in good earnest 
from our side and their batteries were soon silenced, they retreated 
through the woods and could not again be found and We were left in 
quiet possession of the field, and where the flag of treason waved in 
the morning We planted the Star Spangled Banner in the afternoon, 
I say We, but in this case I am like a great many folks in the world 
who can always spell We without an / in it * * * By We I mean the 
whole Union Force and not our regiment, for we had no part in the 
battle which lasted but a short time, We were marched out in a 
hurry as were several other regiments, but the artillery which went 
ahead of us had finished the work and our regiment arrived on tlio 
ground just in time to be too late We were a little sore after walking 
so far in such a hurry and then not do any good, but it was well 
enough as it was, and we marched back to our quarters again The 
loss of the U S troops were Seven killed Six wounded and Three 

2 The above letter was enclosed in a smal] envelope bearing Hie picture of 
a globe with a draped figure, representing the United States, wrapped m the flag 
and .surmounted by an eagle, beneath which is the Inscription "Wrapt In its folds 
the WHOLE COUNTRY shines resplendent through its stars " 



missing The loss of the Secesh is estimated at over one hundred but 
is not known for certain Those who have charge of the matter here 
did not intend to have another Bull Run affair, for want of reinforce- 
ments, as in two hours from the firing of the first gun, there were no 
less than Seventy Thousand Soldiers on the march for the scene of 
action by various routes, This, the first opportunity that has been 
had of testing the judgment and ability of Gen McClellan as com- 
mander in chief of the forces here, though small as it was, goes to 
show that the confidence which is had in him has not been misplaced 
With such men in supreme command as McClellan, Wool, and Fre- 
mont, and such a man, at the head of the government, to guide the 
whole, as Abraham Lincoln, I think that none have any reason to 
doubt as to the result, that is if the people of the North will only 
leave the work in their hands, and quit finding fault and growling, 
and complaining about their doings as are a large portion of the 
Northern press continually, when at the same time they thus find 
fault, they know not what they are finding fault with, All the good 
that this growling at the movements of those who have charge of the 
matter, does, is to remove the courage from the hearts of thousands 
of the brave soldiers, who are on the tented field, and also to keep 
back others from enlisting, who otherwise would, And it is evident 
that everything that those in power at Washington have undertaken, 
and which has been ramsacked to pieces and the intentions of the ad- 
ministration misplaced, and thus caused to be murmured at, every- 
thing I say that they have undertaken has come out successfully in 
the end and then it is invariably that those who have been loudest in 
denunciation of their measures have come out strongest in their 
praise I have strained on this matter, while I suppose I might per- 
haps have found something more interesting for a letter, but I had 
just set down after reading an article in the Manitowoc Pilot in this 
same complaining style which somewhat disgusted me, and I had to 
give vent to my feelings a little, besides I want to let my friends know 
that I have a confidence in Lincoln, Scott, Cameron, & Fremont & 
McClellan and I hope they have also I also see in the same paper an 
article, that the Administration disapproved of the recent proclama- 
tion of Gen Fremont declaring martial law throughout Missouri and 
giving freedom to the slaves of rebel masters, while it is well known 
here that it meets the approbation of the administration fully, To 

Letters of a Fifth Wisconsin Volunteer 57 

day we arrested a spy inside our lines This we did have a hand in 
for the arrest was made by Lieutenant Walker, myself and one other 
private of the Manitowoc Co Gaurds, He had about him a pass 
from L. P. Walker the Secretary of War of the Confederate States 
allowing him to pass their posts everywhere also several other papers 
of importance We took him to the headquarters of General Smith 
where he was recognized as one who had taken the oath of allegiance 
to the U S government twice already This shows what regard these 
fellows have for an oath, The President and Lady were out here 'to 
view our work day before yesterday I with a dozen others of our 
boys had the honor of shaking hands, and holding a short conversa- 
tion with him, He was as free with us poor soldier boys as though 
he was one of us, I have made such poor composition and so many 
mistakes in this, that I should go to work and write a new one had I 
the time but I have not, to night and I shall not have time to morrow, 
as Co A [h]as to go out as escort to the engineers, it is kind of good to 
have a great name and I like to belong to a company that has a great 
name, but the Manitowoc Guards have too good a name for their own 
good for they have such a great name that they have to do about 
everything that is to be done, Whenever the General wants an 
escort, or the surveyors want a gaurd or almost anything else, it is 
pretty Certain that Co A of Fifth Wisconsin will be called on and 
thus we are kept going about all the time while other companies have 
lots of time to rest 

* * * 

Camp Griffin Nov 5th 1861 

Miss M E Sheldon 

I received yours of October 27th and was happy to hear from 
you as I am at all times to hear from home and as it is sometime since 
any correspondence has passed between us I reply to your letter at 
once though I know I have nothing that will interest you as nothing 
new has taken place here lately Through the mercies of our 
Heavenly Father I am still enjoying good health and the other 
Branch boys also except Aaron who has suffered from a severe cold 
during the past few days but is recovering now He is promoted to 
Corporal now, not a very important office to be sure, but still his 
getting the appointment shows that he performs bis duty well and 
that his services are appreciated The Branch boys are all in one 



tent now I and Aaron have been together in tenting and everything 
else ever since we left Manitowoc and last week I worked it so as to 
get Jim Whealan in with us, and by thus getting all in one tent it 
scorns more like home to us The other members of our tent are 
Frank Greenman George Croissant and R Dukelow Our tents are 
getting rather worse for wear they leak very bad now when it rains 
which is very often, I dont know what we will do if we have to stay 
in them through the winter but of this it is useless to trouble our- 
selves, for sufficient unto, the day is the evil thereof, and it becomes us 
not to borrow trouble from the future when we know not whether the 
trouble will ever come upon us or not We live middling well here 
for the present We have hard crackers for breakfast, hard crackers 
for dinner and for supper we have hard crackers. This however is 
only about half the time, The other half we have soft bread from 
the government bakery at Washington, which goes very good though 
a loaf of home made bread would taste far better We have also a 
middling share of meat, beans, rice, hominy, coffee and sugar furn- 
ished us by government In our tent we have a treasury into which 
each one in the tent puts in about two dollars per month and with 
this fund we keep ourselves liberally supplied with, butter, Molasses 
potatoes tea, milk, when we are near farmers where we can buy it, 
and other luxuries and thus we make it go very well and have no 
reason to complain as far as eating is concerned at all 

There has no change taken place in our army here of late except 
the retirement of Lieutenant General Scott from the supreme com- 
mand of the army and the assuming of the supreme command by Gen 
McClellan and while we regret the loss of the services and the ad- 
vantage of the experience of Scott we can but rejoice that we have a 
man to take his place who promises so well by his services and deeds 
in the past as does Gen McClellan and it is to be hoped that the 
Lord will guide and prosper him and the army under him and that 
the people will not be disappointed in their expectations from him 
But they must not judge of him too hastily or accuse him of being 
slow before they understand matters fully They must know that 
there is great preparations to be made and I am sure no one wants 
him to march his army on when they are only partly ready We 
have not ignorant men to contend with but men educated in the same 
school and in the same course of life with our own Generals There 

Letters of a Fifth Wisconsin Volunteer 


was never a war of the same magnitude as this that progressed any 
faster in the beginning, 

I see Manitowoc County is doing tip top in turning out Soldiers for 
the war I was afraid at one time that Waldo would not get his 
company filled, but I am glad both for his sake and the credit of the 
county that it is filled and from a long, familiar, confidential 
acquaintance with him I am satisfied that he will make a good officer, 
and Likewise his Second Lieut D A Shove with whom I was probably 
more intimately acquainted than any other person in Manitowoc. 

* * * 

Camp Griffin Dec 5th 1861 

Respected Friend 

I received your welcome letter last Sunday evening, and at that 
time I proposed to answer it the next morning but when morning 
came with it came an order for Co A to go out on a scouting expedi- 
tion which occupied all that day, the next day we had to go out again 
and today I with thirteen others were designated to chop wood for the 
use of the General and the members of his staff and for fear I may 
again [be] deprived of the opportunity of answering your letter to 
morrow I have determined to set down and do so this evening I am 
always too happy to receive letters from my friends, to delay very 
long in writing back to them, the more especially as I know the 
longer I delay in writing, the longer it will be before I hear from 
them again, and when I have an unanswered letter on my hands I feel 
as though part of my duty was undone I have often thought, as 
regards writing to you, the same as you expressed in your last 
letter, but I have consoled myself with the idea that I would do the 
best I could and trusted to your good nature to bear with it and it 
always gives me fresh courage to hear from my friends As I think 
of the friends that are at home which I do every da}% how much more 
cheering it is to know that those friends are unanimous in their 
opinions on the questions which now are at issue and to know that T 
have the well wishes of them all not only for myself but for the cause 
of my country I say how much more cheering is it to k[n]ow 
than though they were divided in their opinions and wo had t lio sym- 
pathies of only half of them Well now for the news from tin's neigh- 
borhood which there is not much to tell of however Things arc as yrt 
comparatively quiet, and for aught I know they will remain so for a 



time The scouting expeditions which I mentioned at the com- 
mencement of these lines were the first duty aside from drilling and 
picket and the other regular camp duties, that we have done for some 
time The one of Monday was for the purpose of foraging, this 
consisted of five companies from our regiment and three from the 
6th Maine and one from the 3d Vermont under the command of Lieut 
Col Brisband, We were in the vicinity of Fairfax Court House, 
We see no signs of any secesh, anywhere, We got considerable hay 
&c for Uncle Sam, besides some chickens, ducks, geese, and other 
luxuries for ourselves some of the boys paid for what they got and 
some did not, Tuesday the expedition from this division consisted 
of some twenty five hundred men under the command of Capt Mott of 
Motts Battery This was for the purpose of acting jointly with 
similar expeditions from the divisions of General McCall and General 
Porter for the purpose of surrounding and capturing a body of rebel 
cavalry supposed to number about fifteen hundred which had been 
seen several times of late in the vicinity of Hunters Mills about eight 
miles from our lines in the direction of Leesburgh, We got around 
on all sides of the place and closed in upon it, but they were not 
there We scouted the woods in the vicinity but could discover no 
signs of them, so we returned to our camp pretty well tired out and 
without having captured any secessionists, but in the room thereof 
the most of us catched bad colds and pretty severe sore throats 
Disease seems to increase among us of late There is a much larger 
number of our regiment on the sick list at present than was ever 
before The Small Pox is raging in some regiments on the left of the 
line it has not yet found its way into any of the regiments in our 
immediate neighborhood Occasionally we receive in our midst one of 
those warnings which remind us that death is liable to come upon us 
as well off as on the battle field, But we have not had near so many 
cases of death in our regiment as in some others Thus far we have 
had only six deaths I had no idea there were so many dying around 
me as there is Last Sunday I took a stroll over to the place where 
the dead of our division have been buried since we came to Camp 
Griffin which is not quite two months and I was a little surprised to 
find on counting the graves, that out of our division numbering 
fourteen regiments there had been some one hundred and eighty four 
deaths There graves are almost as nice as they are in our public 

Letters of a Fifth Wisconsin Volunteer 61 

burying grounds and each one has a board at the head with the name, 
age, and native place of the party on also the regiment to which he 
belonged, and this together with the place of their burial is also 
registered on a book in the Secretary of War's office in Washington, 
so that if their friends should wish to obtain their bodies, they can 
readily find out there whereabouts Last Thursday being Thanks- 
giving Day in our state we kept it here in our camp, that is we done 
no duty for that day, We, that is a few of us, held a prayer meet- 
ing in the afternoon, but the most of the boys spent the day as they 
do the most of their leisure time in gambling Gov Randall was 
with us in the evening and tarried with us till the following after- 
noon Judge A Scott Sloan was with us Sunday evening and made a 
brief but pointed address to the regiment on the questions involved 
in the war, Congress has got to work now in the city and we may 
probably expect some lively debates on the differences of opinion held 
by them on various questions The Presidents message is liked very 
much here It is not stretched out as have been the messages of late 
Presidents into a long string of political harangues, and arguments, 
but is filled wholly with sound and wise recommendations It all 
reads as coming from a man who is wholly a statesman and who is 
governed wholly by the desire to serve his country and to do good 
The capture of Messrs Mason and Slidell, so our prisoners say is the 
severest blow that has yet come upon the rebels, This with the 
capture of Port Royal, the effectually blockading of Charleston, 
Savannah, and other Southern ports by sinking stone boats in their 
mouths the other expeditions fitting out to go on the Southern coast, 
and the large expedition which is now nearly ready to start down the 
Mississippi should satisfy us all that the government is really in 
earnest and teach all to wait patiently 

Camp Griffin Jan 11th 1862 

Miss Sheldon 

I received your interesting letter of the 29th of Dec and was very 
glad to hear from you again and to learn that you and all of your 
folks were well How true is the old verse 

Time fast slips away 

First by moments, then the day 

Short the time appears 

But it soon amounts to years 



To look back it seems but a very short time since the commencement 
of the year 1861, and as I passed away the hours of January of last 
year pleasantly in the old log school house at Spring Creek, little did 
I think that the following New Year would find me on a tented field in 
Virginia or that such a war would be upon our country as now is. To 
be sure Secession had commenced and was strutting [ajbroad in the 
land at that time, and we had an old simpleton in the presidential 
chair, who seemed to care but little what became of the country or its 
interests, but rather on the contrary seemed all along to sympathize 
with, and give aid to those that were endeavoring to overthrow our 
government, but still we hoped that the difficulties would be settled in 
peace We waited anxiously for the inauguration of the new Presi- 
dent and after Mr Lincoln had taken his seat, we still hoped for peace 
and we did not relinquish this hope until the rebels opened their guns 
on the small half starved garrison in Fort Sumpter and when the 
war commenced then nor for a long time afterward did we think that 
it would ever reach such an altitude as it has come to, * * * 

The weather is more like May than it is like January We had 
one cold night, the night of the 7th inst, it froze severely, but com- 
menced to thaw again the next day, and in the evening it commenced 
to rain and kept it up until this morning, making out an old fashioned, 
down east, three days storm, The news here is still the same, viz 
nothing done I think we had better take the old cry of the Crimean 
war, Sebastapol aint taken yet, and alter it so as to have it read 
Manassas aint taken yet, to suit us, and to suit the rebels it should 
read Washington ain't taken yet 

I am off duty again having caught another severe cold on the 
one I already had by going on a foraging expedition on the 7th I 
am not sorry I went however for I learnt considerable I see prep- 
eration for a great battle all laid out and everything put in position 
for a big fight, There was some thirty two regiments numbering 
about twenty three thousand men, comprising the divisions of Gens 
Smith, McCall, and part of the division of Gen Porter and two regts 
of Cavalry and five batteries of artillery belonging to those divisions, 
the whole was under the command of Gen Smith There was along 

Letters of a Fifth Wisconsin Volunteer 63 

with the troops about three hundred, four horse teams and wagon and 
they all returned home loaded with oats, corn, wheat in the sheaf 
hay &c We were out to within three miles of the enemys encamp- 
ments at Centreville, which we could see quite plainly, The regi- 
ments were scattered all over to the right and left so as to prevent the 
enemy from flanking the advance column, but no sight was seen of 
any enemy, We were out with the farthest, Gen Smith or Gen Han- 
cock would not think of going toward the enemys lines without hav- 
ing Co A of the 5th Wisconsin along with them 

Co B & Co G were also out on the advance the rest of our regiment 
took the part of flankers back some ways. We had to march pretty 
lively going out and got in a perspiration and after getting to our 
journeys end we had to stand still for about three hours and thus 
many of us caught cold, I wish that the Secesh would come as near 
to our lines with such an expedition for the purpose of stealing our 
hay &c I am strongly inclined to the idea that they would go back 
minus a few men and teams There are two German members of our 
Co in the hospital here and one member, Albert Payne, has been some 
time in the union hospital in the city of Georgetown We have not 
heard from him since he went there. * * * I scarcely know what to 
think concerning our affairs with England She seems determined 
to pick a quarrel with us, I hope to see it avoided if it can be done 
honorably, but the mind of nearly everyone in the army here, is to go 
to war with her in preference to dishonoring ourselves to please her ; 
We had the pleasure during the past week, of eating some cake, pre- 
serves, &c that came from Manitowoc, I had a good share in the 
lot, a present from Mrs Goodenow, We have a regular school in our 
tent almost every evening There are fourteen of us in it Once 
in a while we have a spelling school in which all of the Americans in 
our company take a part, I have to act as teacher, I am more 
competent for a scholar, but the rest of the boys insisted on my taking 
the position and for the sake of getting the thing started I accepted 
it, We have lots of time, and can benefit ourselves greatly and at 
the same time keep ourselves out of mischief The school is not very 
orderly, there is considerable laughing and talking and I cannot 
punish them because I do about as much of it as any of them, The 
branches that we exercise in are Spelling, Reading, & Ciphering I 
would get a sett of books all through and study, but we know not how 



soon we will have to move nor how often and we have enough clothes 
to carry to make a good heavy load and consequently could not carry 
the books Christmas and New Years is past and we still remain 
here, We now begin to speculate as to whether we will be home by 
the 4th of July 

* * * 

Camp Griffin March 9th 1862 

Miss Sheldon 

I received your letter of Feb 23d and now proceed to return the 
compliment as far as I am able There is but little to write about as 
is usual here and in addition to this fact I do not feel in a very lively 
mood I have come in off picket this morning having had a three days 
job of it Thursday morning I went on in place of another man 
whom I knew was not really able to go on, The next day was my 
own turn and so I remained on and the next morning the brigade 
went out on a reconnaissance and when the time came that we should 
have been relieved an aid of the Generals came out and informed us 
that we would have to remain on gaurd until the troops returned and 
so we settled down for another twenty four hours 
I and the rest of the Manitowoc Co boys are well, there is not one of 
them in the hospital at present I guess Spring has commenced here 
now To day is as fine a day as I ever have seen, it seems too nice a 
day almost, to spend in camp The last few days have also been very 
pleasant, it would be first rate sugar weather, were it in Wisconsin 
I should like very much to be home for a few days during sugar season 
and share in the pleasures of the same, I sometimes feel satisfied that 
the war will be ended and the volunteers return home by next harvest 
time while at other times it looks gloomy and I think if we get home 
by next Spring we will be doing well, We are in continual excitement 
and have expectations of moving towards Manassas all the while, 
We have orders about two or three times every week to pack up and 
get ready to move but still we do not move, There has no very im- 
portant movement taken place on the Potomac of late except the 
crossing of Gen Banks division into Virginia week before last and the 
taking of the rebel stronghold Leesburg last Friday You will see 
the account of the latter in the papers which I will send you at the 
same time that I mail this The rebels seem to be well drilled in 

Letters of a Fifth Wisconsin Volunteer 


running, The signs of the times at present seem to indicate that 
this army here is to fight sooner or later the battle that is to decide 
the war, but in time of war all signs fail and nothing is certain that 
is not fully in the grasp, a man can scarcely believe his own eyes 
here I never was in a place before where a man could not depend on 
anything, I should not be at all surprised if some morning should 
find Manassas evacuated and the Jeff Davis Government on its way 
from Richmond to some more Southern point * * * I understand one 
of our company wrote to Jane Eatough that I was the only one in our 
company who did not drink liquor This is a libel on the company for 
there is full one half of the company that I am positive have not tasted 
a drop of liquor since they have been in camp, my two companions 
from the Branch included in this number and it is only once in a great 
while that any of them get any for Gen McClellan does not allow the 
soldiers to have it, 

* * * 

Camp No 20 in the Field 
Near Chickahominy River June 15th [1862] 

Friend Mary 

Your last letter was duly received a few days since I had almost 
given up all ideas of ever hearing from you again except by way of 
others, but you are perfectly excusable for the delay, I have no 
important news to communicate and therefore despair of any hope of 
interesting you in these lines however I will do the best I can under 
the circumstances 

I am enjoying good health as yet There is considerable sickness 
though in our army which appears to be increasing Those of us 
who are blessed with good health have great reason to feel grateful to 
God for sickness in the army is above all sad events the least desirable 
When one is sick, his own companions have so much duty devolving 
on them that they have scarcely any time to help him and the Sur- 
geons care but little for him and very often his own mates sneer at 
and make light of him I have known of cases in our regiment where 
boys have been lingering under sickness and finally died whilst Sur- 
geons and the officers and members of their own companies have kepi 



up the cry that they were playing sick for the purpose of getting 
rid of duty but I am happy to say that no such occurrence has ever 
transpired in Co A We still lie in the same place as when I last wrote 
to Jerry with the exception that we have moved back a few rods, 
The rebels got a little saucy and commenced throwing over shells 
occasionally, they killed one man and wounded another, both cavalry- 
man, which is a small loss considering the number of shots they have 
fired, Gen Hancock deemed it advisable to move back from the open 
field in which we were encamped into the woods where we would have 
protection, Last Friday Gen Smith sent word to Gen McClellan in 
regard to this rebel battery an dasked permission to go over with 
his division and capture it but McClellan refused, as that would be 
apt to bring on a general engagement, which he did not wish for yet, 
The rebels show every sign of making a determined resistance here, 
but as they done the same at Yorktown laboring on new fortifica- 
tions up to almost the very night on which they evacuated, it would 
not surprise us in the least to find them leaving here yet without a 
fight, Yesterday being Sunday and having nothing else to do I took 
a stroll over the recent battle ground at Fair Oaks, it was a fearful 
sight Trees, Fences, Bushes, and every thing around is literally torn 
to pieces with Bulletts and Shell, The signs of the terrible slaughter 
were yet to be seen on the ground and the fields were filled with the 
graves of both Union and Secesh Soldiers Our men being buried on 
one side and the Southerners on the other As I looked upon the 
graves of the Union men I thought of the many mothers, sisters, 
brothers, wives, and children, that were probably at that time weeping 
for them, and whose only comfort was the assurance that they had 
died in a good cause, and the hopes of meeting them in happiness in 
the world, to come, and as in turn I gazed upon the graves of the poor 
Southerners who had fallen in this fight, I could but think that they 
as well as others had left those at home who esteemed and loved them 
and whose hearts were now saddened, and the sorrow of their friends 
must be all the sadder, because that posterity shall write over them, 
Sincere, and self-sacrificing, but misguided 'victims to a causeless and 
therefore wicked rebellion The graves of every soldier here seemed 
to cry out for punishment on those who instigated this war The 
leaders of this rebellion must receive that punishment which is justly 

Letters of a Fifth Wisconsin Volunteer 67 

theirs, Mercy to them would be Cruelty to Civilization We have 
got our fortifications at this point finished, and are now to work at 
building roads, and bridges, We had two distinguished visitors to 
our camp last week — viz — Gen Prim the commander of the Spanish 
forces recently sent to Mexico, and Gen Burnside who commands our 
forces in North Carolina They were both received with the ac- 
customed military salutes and with the cheers of the Soldiers, which 
latter, especially were heartily given for the Gallant Burnside for 
whom this army has more respect than any other General excepting 
of course our own McClellan General Prim reviewed the army and 
complimented the appearance and discipline of the Soldiers very 
highly He said he thought that our army was all composed of green 
men but on the contrary he found it equal to any of the best trained 
armies of Europe He also complimented the strategy of Gen Mc- 
Clellan at Yorktown very highly, Reinforcements are arriving here 
every day I know not how much our army here numbers now De- 
serters from the rebels, report their army as in very poor condition, 
living on half rations &c Gen Lee, who now commands them, in the 
absence of Gen Johnston, who was wounded in the late battle, made a 
speech to his army a few days ago in which he told them that they 
had made their last retreat and henceforth their watchword must 
be victory or death. 

'# * * 

Camp Near Aquia Creek 
Virginia Dec 1st 1862 

Friend Mary 

I received a letter from Keed last week, and as I had written a 
letter to her a few days before, I concluded to answer her letter by 
writing to you judging it a good opportunity of reopening corre- 
spondence with you, Perhaps you will think it a curious way of 
doing business, but it will pass in war There is so little transpiring 
here of any importance, that it becomes exceedingly difficult to write 
a letter that will prove interesting, I trust you will pardon the 
dullness of this one, I seldom have to stop and study for some- 
thing to write but I am compelled to do so this time, Wo lay per- 
fectly quiet here as much so as though we had no enemy to contend 



with. We are in the Left Grand Wing or Division which is in the 
rear at present I have not seen a rebel or loaded my gun since I have 
been here, the right of our army rests on the Rappahannock 
opposite the city of Fredericksburg, Gen Sumner demanded the 
surrender of that city ten days ago, giving them sixteen hours to re- 
move the women, children, sick, and aged, at the expiration of which 
time he was to shell the town unless it was surrendered as demanded, 
It was not surrendered and still stands without being bombarded 
There are various reasons given for this delay but nobody except our 
leaders know for certain what causes it, some think it is on account 
of supplies, some think that we are waiting for some other force (the 
Banks Expedition perhaps) that is going to cooperate with us, while 
others think that this is merely a feint to attract their attention this 
way and that Gen Burnside intends to suddenly transfer his forces by 
means of transports to the other side of Richmond in the vicinity of 
Suffolk &c This last idea seems to be the opinion of the Richmond 
papers also, Yesterday and To day there has been a rumor circu- 
lated through camp to the effect that there was an Armistice for 
forty days between the two armies, Also another one that our 
division was going into Winter quarters here and gaurd the Railroad 
I as yet do not believe either report, but I would wish that the lattery 
might prove true The weather here is very changeable just now; 
about half and half ; The inhabitants in this neighborhood are awful 
hard up, I am satisfied that they will suffer dreadfully this winter 
Last Friday I was on picket I had the charge of four posts, one of 
them was at a house in which lived a man with his wife a[nd] five small 
children and if there ever was destitution in a house, there was in 
that one He had nothing but about six bushels of corn on which to 
live Our forces under Gen Pope took part of his produce last fall 
and after Pope retreated the rebels took pretty much all that re- 
mained He told me that he knew of some 9 families around the heads 
of which were in the rebel army and the folks had nothing Virginians 
will be all used up if the war lasts another year, 

4fc ifc 

Letters of a Fifth Wisconsin Volunteer 


Camp Near White's Church, 

Virginia, Dec 28th 1862 

Dear Friend 

* * * We are laying in our old camp yet where we have been since 
the recent defeat at Fredericksburg It seems to be the general 
opinion that this army will do nothing more this winter, however we 
cannot tell Some of us have prepared comfortable winter quarters 
for ourselves, Sergeant Goodwin, Sergeant Ennert and Myself have 
built us a log cabin of which many a poor family in Wisconsin might 
be proud of, If we do not have to move or change camp, we three 
are all right until spring, There is quite a change in our opinions 
and wishes since this time last year, then we laid in Winter quarters 
on the Potomac and were all the time grumbling because we were not 
put in the field in active service, now all hands are anxious to be 
ordered into Winter quarters, this change of ideas has been purchased 
at a dear rate, and the army cannot be blamed for it Since the late 
battle at this point everything has looked dark to me and I have 
almost given up the last hope, I trust you had as good a time on 
Christmas as you expected, it was rather a dull time here, it was a 
real pleasant day though, Our Christmas meals consisted of the 
following (that is our tent and the rest were about the same) 
Crackers, Coffee, & Pork for Breakfast, Pork, coffee & crackers for 
dinner, and Coffee, crackers & pork for supper, In the afternoon I 
received a visit from some of my old schoolmates who are in the 1st 
Long Island regiment, this took off part of the lonesomeness of the 
day, I have received an invitation to spend New Years with some 
acquaintances in the 31st N Y and expect to have something of a 
good time, unless some unforeseen event should prevent it Not quite 
as good as though I were at home But I have no cause of complaint 
after having been permitted to enjoy so long a visit at home as 
/ was allowed last fall, while so many of my companions were endur- 
ing the fatigues of long marches and battles God Grant that in Ins 
providence this may be the last New Years that we shall have to 
spend in the army, Those of us who are here, have great reason to 
praise God for his goodness to us in preserving our lives and per- 
mitting US to enjoy as good health as wc do while others equally as 
good and some better are suffering from wounds reeeived in battle. 



and thousands of others have offered their lives on the altar of their 
country, or I should say Our Country I perceive by the papers that 
the Congressional Committee has concluded their investigation as to 
the cause of the late disaster at Fredericksburg The result is that 
all of the officers clear themselves and nobody is held to blame for it 
Well that is the way all these things come out in the end I think 
that if they had left us our old General (Little Mac) we should not 
now been mourning over a bad defeat, Not but I consider Gen Burn- 
side a true man and a man of great ability, but do not consider him 
capable of handling so large a body of men as the Army of the 
Potomac, Our Colonel who has been with us since the regiment was 
first formed has resigned and taken his leave of us It seemed hard 
to us to have him go, We have none of our original field officers left 
now, Our Second Lieutenant James Macomber has also resigned 
and leaves us in a couple of days He was my tent mate all last spring 
and summer and it seems like losing a brother to have him go, There 
are so many of the old hands leaving and new recruits come in that it 
scarcely seems like the same regiment, 

* * * 

Camp Neak Belle Plains Va 
April 1st 1863 

Miss Sheldon 

Your interesting letter of March 14th reached me yesterday and 
was read with much satisfaction Your excuse for the delay in 
answering my former letter is a good one and is accepted I know 
the duties of a school marm require about all of her attention and 
then she can hardly do justice, and if she has a contrary set of 
scholars to deal with, it is so much the worse for her, it is almost 
as bad as having to act as Sergeant of the Gaurd around camp here, 
The Sergeant has the whole gaurd numbering thirty six men under 
his command, they are divided into three reliefs of twelve men each, 
one of these reliefs is on post at a time, and the Sergeant is required 
to keep the rest at the gaurd station, not allowing more than two to 
be gone at any one time and should the Officer of the day, the Gen- 
eral or the Colonel or any of the field officers happen around and find 
more than two men absent, the Sergeant is liable to be punished, 

Letters of a Fifth Wisconsin Volunteer 


The men all know this but still they will be contrary and you have to 
keep your eye on them all the while or they are bound to steal away 
from you and go to their quarters The Sergeant hates to come 
down on them for he is thus liable to gain their ill will and he will be 
talked of all through the camp by them, as big of his feelings putting 
on style &c, still they all know that he is obliged to thus retain them 
in order to save his own head, I have been on sometimes this winter 
when I believe that it would have tried the patience of Job to be Ser- 
geant of the Gaurd, at any rate it has used mine all up and a long 
ways beyond sometimes, I always dread being detailed for camp 
gaurd on brigade and division gaurds it is easier because there is a 
Lieutenant over you on them, and he must stand all responsibilities 
We still remain in our old place as when I wrote you before, The 
weather has been very, very, severe of late, There is four inches of 
snow on the ground at the present time and the weather out doors is 
freezing cold, talk about your winters in the sunny south, but I 
never see it any worse at this time of year anywhere that I have 
ever been We expected to march about ten days ago and our officers 
made us pack up our overcoats and all the extra blankets which we 
did not need for summer, to be sent to Washington to be stored until 
next fall We all wish now that we had them back again, at any 
rate I am mighty glad that we did not march for it would be rather 
tough to lay in line of battle some of these nights Yesterday was 
kept in Solemnity through this army in honor to the memory of Maj 
Gen Sumner He was very much respected by this army, of which 
he has been one of the chief officers from the time of its organization 
to a very short time previous to his death Though we shall never 
again witness his old grey head as he rides along our lines, we have 
his example left us, and his name will be remembered as long as the 
American army has a place in history. You speak of your fear of 
the negroes that are freed coming up north I think that there is 
but very little danger of that, Southern climate is better suited to 
them and if they can live there as free people and get paid for their 
labor they will stay there in preference to going up North For my 
part I want to see the whole of them out of the country altogether, 
The idea is preached by the copperheads up north that we are now 
fighting to free the slaves, the exact reverse is true, We free the 



slaves to stop the fighting I was over to the 6th Wis last week [to] 
see Dr. Preston, he is Brigade Surgeon now, his health has improved 
very much of late, he looks much better than when he was home last 
fall he told me that he had sent for Frank and expected him out 
here in a few days 

Henry Baetz the Captain of the German company that left Mani- 
towoc last fall, is now Major of the 26th Wisconsin We have con- 
siderable sports in our camp in the way of jumping playing ball &c 
and once in a while we have a lively game at snowballing with three 
or four hundred in the game at once Occasionally they get up a 
dance in the evenings at which lots of the boys enjoy themselves 
There are about forty of my old schoolmates in the 15th N Y and I 
have made many a good visit with them this winter, it is very 
pleasant to set down and chat about our old play times and laugh 
over the quarrels we had then 

As regards war news there is none here We are eagerly watching 
the papers in hopes to hear of the fall of Vicksburg, if Gen Grant 
succeeds in Capturing that point and opening the Mississippi it will 
be a hard blow to rebeldom and will go a great ways towards ending 
the war, This is the first day of April and the boys have practiced 
much of the April fool on each other, My health is good and also 
all in our company with whom you are acquainted Aaron Gibson is 
now 2nd Lieutenant of our company, 

* * * 

Camp Near White, Oak Church 
May 14th 1863 

Dear Friend 

Having to day to myself I will endeavor to pen a few lines to you 
in answer to your last, which I read with much pleasure, 

We are once more safely stowed away in camp in almost the 
same place that we were encamped last winter when Burnside was in 
command Everything is agreeable and pleasant except that it 
seems lonesome at times, We miss very much the familiar voices and 
jovialness of many old comrades who were killed and wounded in the 
late battle, in the squad over which I have charge, there were 
eighteen previous to the crossing of the river and now there is only 

Letters of a Fifth Wisconsin Volunteer 


seven, Every American in it was either killed or wounded, I can 
hardly make myself believe that our boys were killed, it seems more 
like a dream than a reality, with the exception of this sorrow for 
our fallen comrades those of us that are left are in good health and 
good spirits, and just as ready to meet the enemy now as ever we were 
I never knew the boys to come out of a fight so little discouraged as 
at the present, excepting after the battle of Williamsburg The fact 
of the case is, though we did come back to this side of the river We 
do not consider ourselves as whipped by a considerable, The enemy 
got punished far worse than we did on every occasion save one, that 
was when the Germans of the 11th Corps played the part of cowards 
and ran at the first volley Those that were engaged in the fight on 
the right at Chancellorsville say that they had to retire on account 
of the rapid rise in the river and creeks which impeded their progress, 
Where we of the 6th Corps were, on the left I know, it was desperate 
enough, especially on the occasion of the storming of St Mareye's 
Heights on Sunday the 3d inst and the battle in the Wilderness on 
the 4th, The rebel papers claim the latter as a victory but admit 
that it was the dearest bought victory to them of the whole war 
They had us surrounded with all of our communications cut off in 
short they had us penned up in a twenty acre lot, the force opposed 
to us was heavily reinforced and largely outnumbered us, they were 
sure that they were going to get our whole force as prisoners, but they 
had got hold of the wrong bird this time, they pitched in first at one 
point, then at another but they never drove us back a foot anywhere, 
Our batterys made fearful havoc among them mowing them down by 
hundreds, After repulsing them at every point through the day we 
cut our way through them at night and recrossed the river, after 
driving them from their strong intrenchments in the rear of Fred- 
ericksburg and losing so many men I felt as though I would just about 
as live died as to withdraw again without having accomplished our 
object, but once on this side and learning all particulars I was well 
satisfied that it was the best that could have been done They have 
not used our regiment very well though, they have broken up the 
Light Brigade and have assigned us to a strange division Tim is 
the second time they have done this, We were first, in the famous 
old Hancock Brigade which gained a great reputation and W&8 



known all over the army East and West Last winter we were put 
into the Light Brigade, commonly called the Flying Division, and 
just as this institution had gained a great name it was broken up, 
One consolation however we have, they let our old hand to hand 
comrades of the 6th Maine go along with us, We could not enjoy 
war without them, nor they without us. Richmond Papers of Mon- 
day convey the intelligence of the death of Stonewall Jackson from 
wounds received in the late battles Over this news I must admit 
that I have both feelings of joy and feelings of sorrow, Joy at the 
fact that the rebellion is ridden of one of its ablest leaders, and sor- 
row in the loss to the world of so brave and virtuous a man, Rebel 
though he was, he was gallant and manly, and was admired, by every 
one that ever had anything to do with him, for his noble qualities, 
He was one of those many instances recorded in the worlds history, 
of a good man, being deceived, into lending himself to a bad cause, 
Now that he no longer can harm us, we can but say, peace to his 
ashes, Last Sunday General Lee sent over to Gen Hooker request- 
ing him to send over and take care of the wounded that were left 
behind, as he, Lee, had not Surgeons and medicine enough for his own 
men scarcely, and the cause of humanity demanded that the wounded 
should be taken care of at once, By this it would appear that the 
rebels were getting a little more civilized than they were, A year ago 
they would kill our wounded on the field, The weather of the last 
few days has been rather warmer than was necessary for comfort 
The trees are just leaved out and every thing looks green and nice, 
the inhabitants here, what few are left, say that it is the latest spring 
they ever see in this state We are encamped in a nice grove at 
present, There is not enough of the regiment left to make a re- 
spectable appearance on drill, so all the duty that we have is a recita- 
tion school of the commissioned officers in the forenoon and of the 
Sergeants in the afternoon We generally do not have our lessons 
very well, I never could content myself to set down and study the 
tactics yet, it is the only study that I ever undertook, that I could not 
get interested in and nearly all the sergeants say they are in the same 
fix The only reason I can assign for this is that we all calculate to 
get out of military life as soon as possible and after our time is out, 
the knowledge of the tactics will be of no benefit to us * * * 

Letters of a Fifth Wisconsin Volunteer 


Let me state a simple instance as regards myself and the late 
election that took place in Co. A for Chief Justice of Wisconsin 
The morning of election day the Captain and Lieutenants asked me 
and the Orderly our opinion in regard to holding an election, The 
Captain was rather against it, fearing that very few of the boys 
would vote as was the case last fall, I almost sided with him but I 
and the Orderly both advised to open a poll, and take what votes 
could be got, He finally consented to commence on the condition 
that I would act as runner and speak to, or rather electioneer the 
boys in the company, I declined at first, advising the selection of 
some one who as I thought had more influence than myself Finally 
however I consented just to satisfy the Captain and Lieutenant but 
satisfied in my own mind that I could accomplish but little I went to 
work and first brought up all those whom I knew to be sure and then 
I set at those who were a little wavering or careless and by some 
talking got them up, then I went at those who are true Union men 
but still cling to party, all that was needed with them, was to satisfy 
them that Mr Cothren was a Copperhead and we had the papers 
to do that The result was that 53 votes were polled every man in the 
company voting who was old enough, save one before the polls were 
opened I would not have believed that 30 votes could be obtained 
unless he set some one to work who had more influence than me, I 
wish though that I could have more influence in the temperance cause 
here Whiskey rations are occasionally dealt out now and I am 
the only one in our Co who does not use his ration, it is rather em- 
barrassing to thus be an odd member of a family with the rest joking 
you on the matter, but I have withstood these temptations thus far 
and I hope by the sustaining grace of God to hold out firm to the end. 

* * * 

New York August 8th 1863 

Much Respected Friend 

Yours of July 26th was received yesterday, and was glad to hoar 
that you and all friends were well, and I have the pleasure of inform- 
ing you that I also am still in the enjoyment of this great blessing of 
the Almighty, good health, Since I last wrote you we have changed 
our base somewhat The 5th Wis is no longer part and pared of 



the Army of the Potomac We were sent to New York a week ago, 
we were informed at that time that it was for the purpose of tending 
to the rioters here and enforcing the draft It is now believed by our 
officers that we will remain here all the rest of our term, should it be 
so, I assure you none of us will be very sorry, two years in the front 
with such campaigning as we have had is enough to satisfy the ambi- 
tion of almost any soldier, They have put us to drilling at heavy 
artillery, on Governors Island, there are two forts on the Island, 
Fort Columbus and Castle Williams, they mount guns of all sizes 
from thirty two pounders to two hundred pounders, I have charge 
of a sixty four pounder, we have named it the Lady Washington 
there are eight men and a sergeant to each piece, The 1st Massa- 
chusetts is here with us, They are first rate fellows, but I would 
rather have our old comrades of the 6th Maine with us, they have 
been our right hand men in every battle, we were always as brothers 
together and it comes hard for us to be seperated The other two 
regiments that came with us, the 20th Indiana and the 37th Massa- 
chusetts have been sent to Fort Hamilton some five miles from here 
there is great preperations going on here; building new defences, 
strengthening and enlarging the old ones mounting heavier guns 
&c &c &c, it looks very much as though our Government had strong 
suspicions of a foreign war, a couple of months more and Mr Johnny 
Bull and Mr Louis Napoleon will find a very nice time of it if they 
endeavor to approach N Y with any of their men of war I think they 
had better let American affairs alone and hope that they will so do 
Everything goes brisk and lively here I should judge so at least, 
by the boat loads of excursionists of both sexes that go down the bay 
here every day The war is not felt here at all you may say, I am 
not of a very jealous disposition, I like to see everybody enjoy 
themselves, but I must say that it is a little provoking to see how 
these thousands of young men hereabouts are, and have been enjoying 
themselves while we have been marching lying in swamps and having a 
tough time of it in general and now when some of them are wanted to 
go to the assistance of those that have been fighting for them for 
over two years, they get up a row and resist the governmental authori- 
ties, We have had a couple of very hot days since we have been here, 
Last Tuesday the thermometer stood ninety six in the shade and 

Letters of a Fifth Wisconsin Volunteer 


131 in the sun, there were a number of cases of sun stroke in the 
cities, Generally though there is a cool breeze comes off the bay 
which makes it tolerable pleasant, We have got rid of our little 
shelter tents and are provided with good tents and sleeping appara- 
tuses, it seems good to have a tent that we can stand up in &c instead 
of having to lie down all the time as in the shelter tents 

We also are provided with better food than we have been used to 
receiving and likewise we can get the soldiers extras, butter, milk, &c 
at reasonable prices, There is however considerable disease among 
the boys caused partly by change of water and climate but mostly I 
think from a too free use of liquor and beer on the road here and 
since they have been on the Island, I have been unable to get over 
to N Y yet, but day before yesterday I got a pass to Brooklyn and 
went out on a visit to my brothers widow, I could only stay about 
three hours as I had to be back in twelve hours from the time of leav- 
ing, so that it was not much of a visit, it does not seem so much like 
home here as I thought it would though it is delightful to get 
among among old acquaintances, schoolmates & companions of our 
childhood, but having been away so long Wisconsin seems the most 
like home to me, and it is there that I long to get back to, I have 
traveled considerable at Uncle Sams expense but I never expected 
that he would send me to these parts, he has however and I hope he 
will let us remain at this post until he sees fit to send us to Wisconsin, 
None of us are very anxious for service in Virginia again 

* * * 

Goshen N Y Oct 8th 1863 


* * * As you will perceive by the heading of this letter we are now 
in Goshen Orange County N Y, We came to this point day before 
yesterday, the purpose is to enforce the draft which is now taking 
place and preserve order &c Goshen is a place of about six thousand 
inhabitants and famous for the largest dairies in the U S We are 
now having a good time drinking the Orange Co milk and eating 
some of the famous Goshen butter The latter is excellent I tell you 
and comes in double good play as compared with the third class but- 
ter that we have been in the habit of getting, in the army and at \ Y 



and at Albany also it was about impossible for us to buy any good 
butter, here it is given to us, have the best living here that we have 
had any place since leaving Wisconsin The Union people here were 
very glad to see us come, some of them had got prepared to move 
away the same evening we came Everything is quiet now but there is 
little doubt that had there been no soldiers sent to this point, there 
would have been a serious disturbance, The Copperheads are largely 
in the majority in the City and in addition to these, there is a large 
number of Irish employed on the Erie Rail Road which runs through 
here and they would all have joined in the affair, especially if they 
once got a little whiskey in them 

I do not think we will stay here any longer than this week, where 
we will then go it is impossible for me to tell at present, perhaps to 
Virginia but I hope not, I am willing to go anywheres that I am or- 
dered but still I have a choice of service and would rather stay in 
N Y City, I was never so tired of any place out of Virginia before 
the war or since it commenced as I was of Albany A meaner people 
in general I never came across There were of course some honor- 
able exceptions but they were few, 

Time flies pretty swiftly with us here but I have seen the time that it 
dragged very slow, it seemed as though a week was long enough for 
two months, it still however looks quite a while ahead to the end of our 
term especially if they keep us until July instead of May next as the 
talk now is that they will so do, however if the Lord preserves our 
health it will not be long in passing and then it will fill our hearts 
with joy to greet our friends once more I wish I could say as you 
do that scarcely an hour passes but I accomplish something, there is 
day after day passes that I accomplish scarcely anything, do but 
very little good to myself or any one else, it is hard to spend such a 
valuable part of my life in such a way but it is the will of the Lord 
that it should be so and I feel that I am doing my duty and nothing 
more, You wish to know if I have any hope of the war being ended 
soon, I have a hope that nine months will see the fighting over and 
that one year from now will see peace fully restored and the stars 
and stripes waving in triumph over all of our broad country and 
proclaiming protection and liberty to all, who come under its 
folds * * * 

Letters of a Fifth Wisconsin Volunteer 


I think there is but little danger of any foreign nations pitching 
in now, The defeat of Gen Rosecrans (if defeat it can be called) 
only checked us for a few days, and Bragg was defeated in his object, 
as much as Rosecrans was in his, and according to all accounts his 
loss was heavier In Albany when the news first came that our forces 
had been driven back you would hear rejoicing and laughing over it 
all over the city Some of the 5th got into rows with some of them 
and gave them a good threshing, and as much as we may be opposed 
to fighting in general we cannot blame our boys, to hear the slaughter 
and defeat of our comrades in the field chuckled over and made sport 
of is more than our natures can endure and furthermore I do not 
think it is our duty to endure such conduct and conversation in our 
presence The disaster that I and most of the soldiers fear the most 
is that these copperhead party may succeed in carrying the elec- 
tions in two or three of the large states through lies and misrepre- 
sentations and thus assist in prolonging the war by working against 
the Authorities at Washington But I pray the Lord for the best 

* * * 

Havenwood Hospital 
Washington Dec 13th 1863 

Respected Friend 

Your letter of Nov 2nd after a long delay which neither you or I 
could prevent reached me some four days ago and I now proceed 
to scribble off a few lines in return I hardly think I will be able 
to make out a letter, As I wrote in my letter to Keed I am getting 
along very well though not as fast as I expected It has rained all 
day yesterday and so far today which makes it very gloomy and the 
damp air doesnt agree with our wounds, it makes them pain far 
worse than usual, it fairly makes me ache all over just as I have 
heard some old folks complain of the rheumatism, my arm aches so 
that it is difficult for me to write, but I determined that I would not 
put off writing to you beyond to day, for I know the sooner I write, 
the sooner I will stand a chance to get a letter from you again; I 
wish you success in your new school, though I suppose it is rather 
hard for Louisa to lose your company up in that lonesome region ; 
For her sake I would wish that you had again got the Kossuth school. 



I have not heard from my company for some time but guess that 
what is left of them are getting along well, Those of them that are 
wounded are in other hospitals than this and I have not learned 
how they are getting along, there are some of our regiment here but 
none of our company, Two wounded rebels are in the same ward 
with me. they receive just the same treatment as our own men, 
they are both very associable fellows, live in New Orleans, One of 
them named Adams was formerly from Philadelphia, he is a very 
smart intelligent young man and thus is quite a contrast to the 
most of the Southern soldiers ; His father is a Commodore in our 
navy and his brother is a Captain in the same service, they have 
both been here to see him, He is a secessionist of the most extreme 
kind, he says he thinks we will conquer them but he will never live 
under our government again, he will go to England or South America ; 
The papers state that the Army of the Potomac are now going into 
winter quarters, it is also rumored that Gen Meade is to be removed 
from the command and that his successor will be either Gen Hooker 
or Gen Thomas, I do not think Gen Meade has yet done anything 
for which he should be removed, but if he is to be I think that the 
army would be well satisfied to get Hooker back, The victories in 
the west give great joy here; To the Army of the Potomac it is 
highly satisfactory as it has given a fair chance for a comparison of 
the fighting qualities of the Eastern and Western armies To us, 
especially those of us from the Western states it has been extremely 
mortifying as we have from time to time read extracts from home 
papers reflecting on this army and bragging on the armies of Grant 
and Rosecrans as superior to us, It is true they have been more 
successful in what they have undertaken than we have been but they 
have not fought under the disadvantages that we have, and it is a 
source of pride to us that in the last battle in Tennessee, the soldiers 
of the 11th & 12th Corps which are a part of this army proved them- 
selves as brave and competent as did the soldiers of the other armies, 
neither are we ashamed of the gallant conduct of the 9th Corps which 
went west with Gen Burnside ; I have seen letters from the 3d Wis in 
the 12th Corps in which they say that they find a vast difference be- 
tween the unwilling conscripts of Braggs army and the willing volun- 
teers of Lees Army in Virginia We have just received the message 

Letters of a Fifth Wisconsin Volunteer 


of President Lincoln and also the message of the so called President 
Davis, I notice considerable difference in their tone, the former is 
wrote in the language of a Gentleman and is full of cheerfulness and 
encouragement; the latter is a strain of sorrow intermingled with 
anger and continual complaint, 

You inquire if I rejoice over the result of the recent elections, most 
certainly I do, they have greatly increased our faith of ultimate 
success, Last year when the elections in New York Penn & other 
states went against the Union party, it caused a cloud of gloom to . 
come over the whole army and many of them were ready to give up in 
despair, and when followed by the disastrous defeat at Fredericksburg 
which took place just one year ago today, the boys lost nearly all 
confidence, but a great change has been wrought since, it is but 
another proof of the old adage 

The mills of God grind slow 
But they grind exceeding sure. 

I repeat the following language of Rev Henry Ward Beecher 

We find transcendent mercies intermingled with our afflictions 
Our night has been long, its hours dark, its dreams troubled and its 
watchings most weary, but it has had its stars too, and they have 
led on the morning whose twilight is already on the hills Our day is 
at hand, The nation is to live, it has gone through severe trial, it 
has been tested in fire and has come out safe 

Not the strength of our hand but the strength of our heart is the 
sign that God means to save us, Not only the increasing military 
successes, but also the growth of popular determination as mani- 
fested in the late elections, that victory shall represent political 
liberty these are the signs of the future and in these signs we shal 
conquer May God hasten on the day 

Near Petersburg Va 
June 26th 1S(H 

Miss Sheldon 

I now commence to write you a letter according to promise, but I 
must admit that after having delayed so long I feel ashamed to write 



at all, An arduous, long, and overburdening campaign together with 
declining health, have kept me so that I have not felt much like writ- 
ing or doing anything else, except what I was obliged for to do; 
had I remained on duty at the front I should probably ere this been 
sick in hospital, but I happened to be fortunate enough to get the 
chance of going to the rear and making out the discharge papers of 
the regiment prior to its being mustered out of the service on the 
twelfth of next month. So I have a pretty quiet time of it, and 
manage to keep up though. I feel about threefourths sick all the 
while, The weather is exceedingly and Tremendously hot and fear- 
fully dry, the ground is fairly baked to a crust, We have had no 
rain since — well I cannot remember when, I learn that you are 
suffering in Wisconsin the same way; Notwithstanding the hot 
weather and drouth, the battle rages here all the while, While I 
write the roar of artillery from the battlefield around Petersburg is 
continually sounding in my ear, Fearful have been the losses thus 
far in the contest, and thousands more must probably be added to 
the list before the object of the campaign is attained but the end 
must come in due time, The Capture of Richmond may not take 
place for the next three months, it may not take place this season, 
but fall it eventually must before Grant and Meade get through with 
it This has been a hard campaign, The wonder is that so many 
have stood it through so far, Never has the history of any war 
contained an account of such a steady perseverance on one part or 
such a stubborn resistance on the other part as has been manifested, 
by the Union and Rebel armies in this campaign, Aaron Gibson is 
back again, having recovered from his wound which was a slight one 
on the top of the head. There are now eighteen men for duty in Co 
A I hope and trust they may all come out safe and sound, it seems 
awful hard for the boys to have to risk their lives now when their 
time is so near up We have twenty eight of the old men all told, 
sick, well, wounded, & detached, to go home to Manitowoc, providing 
no more get killed, 

* * * 

Miss Mary 

As my time is so near out and this is probably the last letter that 
will ever pass between us I cannot seal it up without enclosing to you 

Letters of a Fifth Wisconsin Volunteer 


my heartfelt thanks for the favor you have done me by correspond- 
ing with me during my period of service in the army, Many a time 
have your letters helped to drive away the lonesomeness of camp life 
and mak[e] bright and joyful, hours which otherwise would have been 
dark and weary; For this favor I shall always feel grateful, and 
hereafter in whatever part of the world I may be whenever I think of 
my soldiers life, those will be remembered who aided and cheered my 
spirits during that life, foremost among which I may mention your- 
self Keed, Sarah Gibson &c — 

Yours Truly 

J H Leonard 



I was born near Philadelphia, in 1830, a descendant of the Welsh 
who settled in that region more than two hundred years ago. In 
1846 I accompanied my parents, sister, and three brothers to the 
territory of Wisconsin, settling near Platteville. My good parents 
have long since been gathered to their fathers, but their five children, 
who came west with them, survive, a remarkable record. I question 
whether this can be equalled by any other Wisconsin family. My 
sister, Mrs. Sarah Westrop of Madison, is the eldest and past ninety ; 
I am in my eighty-ninth year ; brother T. Elwood Evans of Cumber- 
land, Iowa, is eighty- seven ; brother George T. Evans of Belmont, 
Wisconsin, is eighty-five; while the youngest, Henry Clay Evans of 
Chattanooga, Tennessee, is seventy-six. The last-named went south 
after seeing service in the Civil War and has since made a national 
reputation as congressman, commissioner of pensions, and manufac- 
turer. We all keep in touch with one another, and though H. C. is 
farthest away, he writes me regularly no matter whether he may be 
in Europe or America. We are proud of one another and think we 
have a right to be. 

When I arrived in southwestern Wisconsin, Galena was the great 

trading and shipping center of this section. It had large wholesale 

and retail establishments, and its now deserted levee was then crowded 

with large steamboats, which brought merchandise and passengers 

from St. Louis and other down-river towns and carried back lead and 

other products of early Wisconsin. Indeed in 1836 to 1846, when 

Chicago was a mud flat covered with flimsy wooden buildings, Galena 

was a substantial place with large stone and brick warehouses and 

elegant stone churches, a number of which are still in service, although 

constructed more than eighty years ago. But the railroads and new 

towns springing up caused the decline of Galena which, in 1856, 

1 This article, the recollections of Mr. J. H. Evans of Platteville, was written 
out by J. H. A. Lacher of Waukesha, after an interview with Mr. Evans in 
February, 1919. 

General Grant and Early Galena 


boasted fifteen thousand people, three times the present population. 
Platteville according to the last school census has now passed her 
ancient metropolis. 

Still I like to think of the past glories of Galena, for when I was 
engaged in business at Platteville sixty years ago I had close business 
relations with its leading merchants. And there were some big men 
there in those times. One of the most famous Americans the country 
has ever produced used to call on me just before the Civil War. I 
well remember my first introduction to him. Together with another 
county official I had been at Madison fruitlessly lobbying for the 
election to the United States Senate of C. C. Washburn; while re- 
turning by team to Lancaster we were accosted at midnight by two 
men in a buggy, who inquired the way. My companion recognized 
the voice of the speaker as that of Brown, a Galena salesman, who 
then introduced us in the dark to his partner, Captain U. S. Grant. 
It was too dark to distinguish his features, but some time afterward 
Mr. L. S. Felt, one of the leading merchants of Galena, brought 
Grant into my store at Platteville and again introduced me to him. 
I offered them a cigar, but Grant did not smoke his, simply chewing 
it and throwing it away. I met Captain Grant frequently there- 
after, for he sold leather and bought hides in our section for his 
father's branch tannery at Galena. 

Although Grant was paid but a small salary by the firm of Grant 
and Perkins, and lived in a modest brick house for which he paid $15 
a month rent, he had strong friends among the leading men of 
Galena, who evidently recognized the latent worth in the unassuming, 
quiet captain. Foremost among these were Congressman E. B. Wash- 
burne; A. L. Chetlain, dealer in queensware; L. S. Felt, dry goods 
merchant; B. H. Campbell, grocer; J. Russell Jones, a partner of 
Campbell ; John A. Rawlins, a young lawyer ; W. R. Rowley, clerk of 
court; John E. Smith, jeweler; J. A. Maltby, gunsmith, and Colonel 
Porter, a West Point man, then superintending the erection of the 
postofficc at Galena. These were Grant's intimate friends, whom he 
met almost daily when in town; and he made Dearly all of them 
officers in the army or in civil life. John Aaron Rawlins, who at the 
outbreak of the war made a great Union address at Galena at which 
Grant presided, was later his chief of stafV, wlien the bonds of friend 

ship were still more closely cemented. He was deserving of all the 


Historical Fragments 

honors showered upon him, including a membership in Grant's cabinet 
as secretary of war. Chetlain became a major general. Felt, one of 
Grant's most intimate friends, was offered the position of collector of 
the port of New York, but declined the honor. Campbell was ap- 
pointed United States marshal of Illinois; while Jones was made 
minister to Belgium. Rowley and Maltby became brigadier generals ; 
as did John E. Smith, who made a pretty good one too. Porter, 
who was partly of Oneida Indian blood, served on General Grant's 
staff and he surely was a good one. Washburne, who represented the 
Galena district in Congress from 1852 to 1869, was for a short time 
secretary of state under Grant, but later distinguished himself as 
minister to Prance. 

Grant was loyal to his friends even though these did not always 
measure up to the positions conferred upon them. Withal, his 
Galena chums were a credit to him, as history testifies. Washburne 
and Rawlins ranked well above the average among the men in public 
life in those stirring days. 

Shortly after the battle of Corinth I saw General Grant coming 
out of a photograph gallery at Memphis, Tennessee; I immediately 
entered and ordered a copy of the picture just taken. I have trea- 
sured this picture all these years, but now I turn it over to the 
Historical Society. I met Grant at Vicksburg, Memphis, and at 
other points during the Civil War, but the last time I saw him 
was right here in Platteville, in 1868. He surely created a bigger 
sensation than when he used to come to our little city as a traveling 
salesman less than ten years before. Some who had known him as a 
modest, reserved man never could believe in his greatness, notwith- 
standing his achievements. But I knew and admired him and I am 
proud of the Mississippi Valley which produced him and most of the 
great leaders of the Civil War. 

I like to think of old Platteville and the stirring times before 
and during the Civil War. I saw many notable men of those early 
days at Major Rountree's home. His wife was a cousin of my 
mother. Among these I recall the poet Percival, who died in 1856 
and was buried at Hazel Green. He was a frail, quiet, uncommunica- 
tive man of sixty, then geologist of the state. Really, I could name 
by the score the prominent men whom I met in early Wisconsin. Gen- 
eral Grant, however, stands uppermost in my mind. 

Early Advertising Policy of the Advocate 87 


In connection with the movement in recent years against patent 
medicine advertising, it is interesting to note that two of our early 
editors in Wisconsin were far in advance of their time in this respect. 

Marshall M. Strong was editor of the Racine Advocate from 
October, 1843 until June, 1845. In the issue of February 27, 1844 
he writes that it is "difficult to sustain the paper in the course which' 
we at first marked out; we excluded at once a large and profitable 
class of advertisements." That Mr. Strong meant patent medicine 
advertising is evident from an examination of the files of the Advocate. 
Previous to his control we find two full columns advertising "German 
Eye Water" and "Bilious Pills," both of which entirely disappeared 
after he became editor. Later, finding no doubt that it was "difficult 
to sustain the paper," he apparently yielded to necessity and ad- 
mitted one column of advertisements including a corn cure, cough 
medicines, and the ubiquitous German eyewater much curtailed. 

When he ceased his immediate connection with the paper and 
Philo White became editor there was a marked change of policy, for 
four columns of this "profitable" advertising occupied important 
places in the paper and continued to do so until another change in 
the editorship in March, 1846 brought Mr. J. C. Bunner into the 
chair. Mr. Bunner seems to have adopted very much the same 
policy as Mr. Strong, refusing after a few issues to accept any more 
yearly advertisements by either the column or the half column. 
Again all patent medicine advertisements entirely disappeared from 
the Advocate. 

Neither of these editors stated his reasons for excluding any 
particular class of advertisements; but it is reasonable to suppose 
that both of them at least felt that long columns of such advertise- 
ments did not add to the dignity nor worth of the paper. Mr. Strong 
had a very clear idea of the value of good advertising. "What 
gives one a higher idea of the business of a place than a busy-looking 
advertising sheet, and what a poorer idea than a dull, black looking 
sheet with large old type, containing a few stale advertisements and 


Historical Fragments 

the rest occupied with prospectuses of newspapers, magazines and 
Lady's books." Feb. 20, 1844. 

Mr. Bunner, in the issue of May 12, 1846, objected to the practice 
of some book publishers of using the free mailing privileges extended 
to newspapers for sending books with lists of testimonials to be adver- 
tised. This he considers an abuse of privilege as well as an insult to 
editors and adds that "the puffing system has of late years been 
carried to so great an extreme that we believe it is beginning to react. 
Books are rarely produced except under a cloud of puffs * * * We 
trust that in this part of the country, the press will join us in trying 
to put an end to it, otherwise readers will pass over our opinions 
* * * with supreme contempt." 

These precursors of the "swat the lie" campaign deserve special 
credit, since every newspaper in their day had a serious struggle for 
existence; paying subscribers were few, and it was necessary to rely 
largely on what little advertising they could secure for support. 

Kate E. Levi 


In June, 1919 the Society mailed to its members and exchanges 
the first volume of the documentary history of Wisconsin's constitu- 
tion which is now in course of publication. Volume II has been in 
the hands of the state printer for several months, and the remaining 
volumes in the series will follow in due order. The publication, there- 
fore, of the following letters, recently uncovered among the manu- 
scripts of the Historical Library, seems timely and appropriate. 

Henry S. Baird, author of the first, was one of Wisconsin's lead- 
ing men throughout the first generation of American occupation of 
the state. The reminiscences of his wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Baird, pub- 
lished in volumes XIV and XV of the Wisconsin Historical Collections 
bid fair to become a classic in the literature of the Old Northwest. 
The present letter of Mr. Baird is a familiar one to his daughter 
Louise, written from Madison at the close of the second week of the 
first constitutional convention. 

Our second letter was written by Chauncey Kellogg, who had 
been a member of the first convention, to Andrew B. Jackson, a 
member of the second convention. Other matters aside, its principal 

Constitutional Convention Letters 


interest at the present time lies in the discussion of the subject of 
Americanization of alien elements in our population. It serves to 
call attention anew to the fact, which most people are prone to ignore, 
that this subject has been of perennial interest in Wisconsin, its 
discussion antedating even the birth of the state. Had the sound 
views of Mr. Kellogg and of others who thought with him prevailed 
in the forties the state would have been spared the Bennett Law up- 
heaval of the late eighties and much discord and travail since that 

Madison October 18, 1846. 

My Dear Louise, 

I was much gratified to receive yours of the 7th, I hope you will 
continue to favor me with a weekly bulletin, and that hereafter you 
will not be so hard run for news to fill your sheet — I have to-day writ- 
ten two long letters, to your Ma & Lizzy; besides two business let- 
ters, wherefore you must not expect a very long epistle this time. 
Indeed you must not expect me to be as punctual in our correspon- 
dence as I shall require you to be; for altho' your household cares 
may be considerable, yet as you have the aid of Mrs Polly, you must 
be a good deal relieved & your burthens much lightened — On the 
other hand I am constantly engaged in public duties each day from 
9 O'clock until dark, and can find no leisure but on Sundays for let- 
ter writing — You will see by the papers which I send, how we are 
progressing; I take it for granted, you see, that you read the papers, 
— & should not be surprised to find when I return that you have 
kept pace with the action of our Honorable Body, & will have the 
provisions of the Constitution at your finger; no I mean your 
tongue's end. I received your letter & your ma's of the 11th at the 
same time, last evening; I also reed, a paper from Sammy; I will send 
him documents from time to time for publication — Eliza writes that 
your Aunt is still at Milwaukee, having returned from the country, 
after a visit of 2 or 3 days in a fit of the Blues; she expects Mr. D — 
soon when they will return to the Prairie 1 — & as they will pass thia 
way I will see them I hope — 

1 Prairie du Chien. 


Historical Fragments 

The notorious Vineyard, who you know is a member of the Con- 
vention, did not make his appearance until 3 or 4 days since; he 
looks depressed & guilty — and receives no attention from any one. 
Altho well acquainted with him in former times, I have not met him 
face to face or spoken to him since his arrival; our seats are but a 
few feet apart, & he has several times passed me in going to his seat, 
but I have not noticed him — What a heart must that man have, my 
Dear Louise, who could ever think of meeting in a deliberative as- 
sembly in that room; for it is in the same council Hall, where that 
horrid tradgedy was enacted, that we sit — ! Yes ! and the assasin 
sits within ten feet of the spot where fell his victim ! ! and he has 
doubtless more than once, since his arrival, trodden on the stain upon 
the plank (which would be visible, but for the carpet that hides it 
from view) caused by the blood of poor Arndt — ! ! But we will 
leave him to his conscience, & this I have no doubt is his accuser; 
altho he has to outward appearance escaped human punishment, yet 
I doubt not but the canker-worm of remorse, weighs heavy on his 
heart, if it be not made of stone. 2 

Our mess, which I before told you consisted of seven persons, is a 
very agreeable set of gentlemen; we all agree remarkably well & 
have a good deal of amusement and joviality — Our days are 
occupied solely at the Capitol, but we spend our evenings sociably, 
either in conversation or playing whist or Ucre, — We are most 
comfortably situated, and are well taken care of by our kind & good 
hostess — Mrs Shackelford is a general favorite with us all & is en- 
titled to our esteem & admiration — If you could prepare & send over, 
before I leave, some little presents for her little Collins & Amelia, 
they would doubtless be much pleased — The latter is quite a favorite 
with me ; Poor little girl, she cannot realize her loss ! I deeply feel 

2 James R. Vineyard of Grant County and Charles C. P. Arndt of Green Bay 
were members of the Territorial Council. In the winter of 1842 during an alter- 
cation on the floor of the chamber Vineyard shot and killed Arndt, although the 
two men had previously been friends. The vest through which the fatal bullet 
sped to the breast of Arndt may now be seen in the Wisconsin Historical Museum. 
Vineyard offered his resignation to the Council which declined to receive it and 
proceeded to expel him. On criminal trial for the killing of Arndt, however, he 
was acquitted. Evidently he retained the esteem of his neighbors, for a few years 
later he was elected to the constitutional convention of 1846, and still later to the 
legislature of 1849. The letter of Mr. Baird shows in what light his presence 
there was viewed by at least some members of the body. Vineyard removed to 
California in 1850 and died there thirteen years later. 

Constitutional Convention Letters 


for them both. This afternoon Mr. Agrj & myself took a long walk 
of about 3 miles, & I feel quite refreshed from it, after two weeks 
close confinement in a room possessing no very great attractions — 
Today has been most beautiful fall weather ; the air pure & bracing, 
& its very appearance enough to banish sickness — Indeed the health 
of the place & country is much improved — Several of our members 
have not yet appeared, owing to sickness of themselves or families — 
Our largest number yet assembled is 106 — this makes quite a formid- 
able show, & the general appearance of the Body respectable — But 
few are over 50 years of age, & from that age to 30 — Mrs Shackel- 
ford told me last evening that a lady of her acquaintance had paid us 
(I mean Mrs. S-s boarders) quite a compliment, saying that she had 
got the cream of the convention; but this is mere talk you know 
Louise, & does not in the least raise our vanity, but it is well enough 
to tell it, for fear it would otherwise never be known. To-morrow 
morning we will again have up the old exciting subject of Banks, & 
we hope it will be then finally disposed of, when we can go at some- 
thing else — I met Thomas Daily here soon after I arrived ; he lives 
about 4 miles out of town — He has been quite sick, as well as his 
family — I have not seen James Lemon or Margaret, as the[}'] live 
about 12 miles from here — Mr. Irwin has I suppose again gone to 
St. Louis ; I expected he would have come this way — Why has not 
Capt. Cotton come on as he expected to do? I wish you to give my 
love to all the girls, Marie J., Libb, &c. &c. Mrs. Irwin, Mary 
Ann — in short to all of the ladies of my acquaintance both young & 
old, who enquire about me, as well as respects to all friends — In 
your letters you say nothing about the general health of the Bay ; I 
hope it has improved — It is now nearly 10 O'clock at night & I 
will close for the present, & perhaps add a line before I mail this — 
Love to Ma, Grandpa & Grandma & Holmes & lots of kisses for 
yourself — and believe me Dear Louise, most affectionately your, 


Tuesday — 

You have not mentioned in your letter anything about "Batty" 
or "prince", I hope they are both well ; present my compliments — 
The weather here has become quite winter like; yesterday wo had a 
flurry of snow, which if it had lain would have whitened the ground — 


Historical Fragments 

This morning is clear & cold ; & ice has made its appearance ; this we 
all hail as a harbinger of health — and we already feel its genial in- 
fluence — Affectionately your &c — 

[Endorsed] Henry S. Baird to his daughter. 

19th Jany [1848] 

Dear Sir 

Yours of Jany 8 came to hand by yesterdays mail with 2 papers — 
the first thing you notice is that Dr Judd talks as much as Ever 3 

I would sugest that you raise a special Committee to enquire how 
much he has cost the Territory in the 2 conventions more than the 
majority of members and that the Excess be charged over to Dodge 
County You say that the boundery line will probably be fixed some 
40 miles North of the congressional line this I verry much regret I 
would prefer by far that it should be from a hundred to a hundred 
and 40 South — Your action on the Malitia Article meets my ap- 
proval it is just where I sought to put it last year — but the 
adoption of Mr. Shoefflers 4 motion on the subject of common Schools 
permiting schools in certain cases to be taught in other than the 
English language is to me and Every one with whom I have spoken 
on the subject very obnoxious we ought to Americanise all For- 
eigners and nothing will tend more to this End than to have them 
taught the prevailing language I hope you will see it consistant with 
your views to do your endavours to prevent such a principal from 
being fixed in the Constitution 

I would write more but I fear I shall be to late for the mail — 
written in the utmost haste for the above reason 

Your friend 

Chauncey Kellogg 

3 Stoddard Judd of Fox Lake, Dodge County, was one of the few men who 
sat in both of Wisconsin's constitutional conventions. He was much interested 
in railroad development and was president for a time of the Milwaukee and 
La Crosse Railroad, the second to cross the state. 

4 Moritz Schoeffler of Milwaukee, who was a native of Germany, came to 
America in 1842 and to Milwaukee two years later. He established there in 1844 
the Banner, Wisconsin's first German newspaper, and for thirty years continued 
one of the prominent German-American journalists of the country. Mr. Schoeffler 
was an ardent advocate of statehood for Wisconsin and a prominent leader of 
German-American opinion in the state. 

Constitutional Convention Letters 93 

P S if there is any of the Journals of last convention to be had 

please get me a Copy 

I should like also one of this if so it Mought be 

-My respects to the Racine Deligation also if convenient to 

Mrs Brigham and family 

[Addressed to] Hon A. B. Jackson Member Constitutional Con- 
vention Madison 
[Postmarked] Sylvania W. T. Jany 19 



In the June issue of the Magazine was noted the joint 
legislative investigation of the conduct of the Historical 
Society, comment thereon being reserved until the committee 
should have completed its hearings and made its report. That 
report was made to the legislature on June 12, and the time 
is ripe to afford the members of the Society an account of 
the committee's findings and of the circumstances responsible 
for the investigation. Any public institution is a fair mark 
for criticism and, particularly if it be of a constructive char- 
acter, such criticism may be of much good to the institution 
at which it is aimed. Whether the criticism to which the His- 
torical Society has recently been subject has been of a con- 
structive character we leave to the discrimination of our 
readers to determine. In so far as practicable we present 
the story through the medium of original documents, but 
to the understanding of these a short introduction is essential. 

In the autumn of 1916 Mr. Publius V. Lawson of Me- 
nasha, a member of the Society and long a patron of the 
Historical Library, requested the loan of certain volumes 
which the rules of the library prohibited sending away from 
the building. Displeased with this, Mr. Lawson indicated 
his intention of carrying the matter to the state legislature. 
Thus began a persistent campaign of criticism of the Society 
which has now continued for two and a half years. Repeated 
hearings have been had before legislative committees, a wide- 
spread solicitation of state officials and private citizens has 
been conducted, the matter of Mr. Lawson's complaints has 
been before the curators of the Society on numerous occa- 
sions, and widespread publicity has been accorded them by 

A Critic and a Certificate of Character 


the press of the state. The failure to convince any of the 
many committees which passed upon his complaints that they 
possessed validity or merit, however, has not operated in any 
way to decrease Mr. Lawson's zeal in prosecuting them. 
Meanwhile, a mass of misinformation was gradually being 
disseminated over the state, which in the long run must prove 
harmful to the Society. At the recent session of the legisla- 
ture two bills were introduced, fathered by Mr. Lawson, 
which those responsible for the administration of the Society 
believed would affect injuriously its interests. Accordingly 
the legislature was invited to make a thorough investigation 
of the Society's affairs, with a view to determining authori- 
tatively the matters at issue. The invitation was acceded to, 
and in May and June a committee composed of Senators 
Roethe and Pullen and Representatives S. R. Webster, 
Hineman, and Roethel conducted exhaustive hearings, 
taking several hundred pages of testimony. Mr. Lawson 
appeared before the committee in the capacity of complain- 
ant and was afforded unlimited opportunity to present his 
case and to adduce evidence in support of it. He stated that 
the only complaint "which I have ever made is that certain 
books in the library which are now withheld from loaning 
over the state of Wisconsin should be loaned, and the other 
complaint is the anti-Wisconsin attitude of the Society in 
its publications." 1 

In actual practice, however, the investigation took a wide 
range, embracing almost every aspect of the many-sided 
activities of the Society. The findings of the joint committee 
not only completely reject the contentions of Mr. Lawson 
but they constitute a striking testimonial to the character of 
the work of the Society and its usefulness to the common- 
wealth. The complaints of Mr. Lawson are declared to have 
been inspired by "misguided zeal," and to be "entirely un- 
warranted and unjustified." In the matter of publications 

Stenographic record of joint committee hearing, 7. 

96 Editorial 

the committee testifies its belief that the Society should pos- 
sess "broad discretionary powers"; it recognizes the fact that 
the history of Wisconsin cannot be made separate and dis- 
tinct from other history; to limit the Society's publications 
to events that transpired within the present state boundaries 
would be, the committee declares, "illogical and undesirable"; 
and it finds that no publications have been issued which 
were not "entirely warranted." 

The finding with respect to the loan of books from the 
library is, if possible, even more sweeping. Quite contrary 
to the complaint that the Society has not pursued a suffi- 
ciently liberal loaning policy, "it has, if anything, pursued 
a policy the committee would characterize as too liberal." 
The library "from its very nature is not, was not intended 
to be, and cannot be construed to be a circulating library." 
Accordingly a bill was recommended (and subsequently 
passed by the legislature) defining the loaning policy of the 
library and expressly prohibiting in future the loan of works 
on genealogy, newspaper files, and all rare or expensive 
books, maps, charts, or other material which in case of loss 
could not readily be replaced. 

The concluding testimonial of the report, standing as the 
voluntary tribute of a group of impartial judges, should 
afford genuine gratification to every friend of the Society 
and should increase the satisfaction of every member over his 
connection with it: "The committee finds the affairs of the 
Society, financially and in every other respect, most excel- 
lently managed, with a staff, members of which have been 
with the Society for a score of years or more and whose work 
to them has become more a labor of love for the institution 
and its success than for the pecuniary remuneration they 
receive * * * The committee does not hesitate to say that 
every member thereof was not only profoundly impressed 
but actually amazed to find it such a big, comprehensive, 
serviceable, and helpful institution in which the state may 

A Critic and a Certificate of Character 


take intense pride, and the committee hopes that every citizen 
of the state may find opportunity to visit the library and see 
from a personal inspection what a wonderful institution Wis- 
consin possesses in its State Historical Society." 

Notwithstanding this sweeping approval of the manage- 
ment of the Society Mr. Lawson finds in the report a com- 
plete vindication of his criticisms. In a letter supplied to 
many leading papers of the state he assures the public that- 
"the only two contentions made in the complaint of the con- 
duct of the Historical Society were sustained by the legisla- 
tive investigating committee." Members of the Society who 
take the trouble to compare this letter of Mr. Lawson with 
the committee report upon which it is based will thereby fore- 
warn themselves against undue disturbance over future 
criticisms of the Society which may emanate from the same 
source. We subjoin the documents which are most pertinent 
to an understanding of the entire subject. 

No. 1 : Petition to the Legislature of 1917 2 

Menasha, Wis., Jan. 27, 1917. 

My Dear Mr. Hart : 

1 am writing you about a subject we are interested in as long time 
citizens of Wisconsin, that is its historical records. 

The Historical Society of Wisconsin has singularly failed of its 
purpose. It has been appropriated millions of dollars by the state, 
and while it never has done much in writing up the history of the 
state, it has in the last three years given up state history entirely 
and published numerous works on the history of Virginia, the Ohio 
river region, and Lewis and Clark expedition up the Missouri River. 
It has in preparation other works on the same subject, and in addi- 
tion proposes to add books on the Gold Seekers of California and 
numerous works on Kentucky, Virginia, and Pittsburg. 

2 This was sent as a letter to Assemblyman Hart, who offered it as a petition 
to the Assembly. The copy given here is taken from the Madison Democrat 
of January 30, 1917. 



The publication of its foreign material has cost in labor of prepa- 
ration, proof reading, printing and binding about $20,000 annually, 
and in meantime Wisconsin history is sidetracked and abandoned. 
The legislature never intended this use of its money and this foreign 
matter publication is all illegal and not wanted by anyone. 

Names of some of these books of foreign matter that in no way 
concerns our state history are: 

Preston and Virginia, dated 1916 

Frontier Along Ohio, dated 1916 

Lewis and Ordway (up Missouri) 1915 

Also as to uses of the library of the State Historical Library. 
The building cost the state $770,000 and the library about 
$5,000,000. Heretofore the books have been loaned to people all 
over the state, the borrower paying the expenses of course. That 
was the purpose of the library and the reason of the support given 
by the legislature. 

Now by an order just passed by the advisory committee, the 
loaning of books outside of the building is discontinued. Hereafter 
books will not be loaned. That order reduces the library to a mere 
city library of Madison and cuts out all use of the library unless 
upstate people can take the time to visit the building at Madison, as 
books cannot be taken from the building. The Superintendent (who 
is not a Wisconsin man and not acquainted with the purpose of the 
Society) declares he proposes to make the library purely a reference 
library, same as the library of Congress. 

As it may be difficult and possibly unwise to defeat any appro- 
priation for the State Historical Society it could be cut down. 

Also, there should be a proviso attached to its appropriation 
reading like this : 

"Provided the said Society shall loan in any part of the state at 
the expense of the borrower for transportation, any of its volumes 
for a reasonable time, not to exceed two weeks. 

Also said Society shall not use any of said funds in the prepara- 
tion or editing or publication of any works, either bound or unbound, 
except such as pertain to the history of Wisconsin. 

Also no such funds shall be used for the expenses of the annual 
address unless the same concerns the history of Wisconsin. 

A Critic and a Certificate of Character 


Also no part of said funds may be expended to promote historical 
enterprise other than such as concern the history of Wisconsin." 

Yours truly, 

Publius V. Lawsox 

[To Assemblyman Hart] 

No. 2: Rejoinder to Mr. Lawson's Petition 

Hon. Charles F. Hart, 

State Capitol, 


My Dear Sir: 

For your information and that of other members of the legisla- 
ture I beg leave to direct your attention to a highly erroneous state- 
ment concerning the State Historical Society which was offered by 
you to the Assembly in the form of a petition on January 29. If 
deemed proper, I respectfully request that this communication may 
be placed before the legislature in the same way as the petition re- 
ferred to. 

In general your petitioner asserts that during the last three 
years (which happens to be the period of my administration of the 
Society) a marked change in the ideals and policies of the Society 
has taken place, as a result of which its interests have become en- 
tirely divorced from the subject of state history and its funds are 
being spent illegally on "foreign" projects; furthermore, that from 
being a library whose collections are loaned freely all over the state 
the executive board of the Society has recently prohibited the loan 
of all books, thus reducing it to the status of a Madison city library. 
In particular, numerous detailed statements arc made designed to 
illustrate these general propositions. 

With respect to this petition I regret to say that while not every 
one of your petitioner's detailed assertions is erroneous, most of 
them are, and that the net effect of the petition is totally mislead- 
ing. In venturing to call your attention to these errors my purpose 
will be merely to show you that the Society's policy today (in the 
points complained of) is identical with that pursued under the ad- 
ministrations of my two predecessors, Draper and Thwaites. 



With respect to the Society's publications it has never been the 
practice to confine their contents wholly within the geographical 
boundary of the state. The first volume ever published by the 
Society (in 1855) contains at least one article on the Revolution in 
the West. From this first volume down to the latest issue more or 
less material has been published pertaining to things outside the 
geographical boundary of the state. It will probably be conceded 
by any sane man that the Society could hardly do otherwise if it 
publishes at all. For example, how can we deal with the history of 
the Swiss settlement without saying something about Switzerland? 
Or how can we deal with the history of the Civil War without noticing 
some of the things which happened to Wisconsin's soldiers after they 
crossed the state boundary? Evidently it becomes a matter of judg- 
ment to what extent the publications of the Society shall be exclu- 
sively local and to what extent they shall take a wider range. In my 
own judgment (and the best scholarly opinion of the country can 
be cited to support me) discussions of such themes as the Revolution 
in the West, the Lewis and Clark expedition, and of proper indexes of 
the Society's own collection of manuscripts are unquestionably 
proper subjects to which to devote the Society's activities. 

Turning to the question of the supposed illegality of the work 
complained of, I desire to call your attention to the fact that the 
Society's charter granted by the legislature in 1853 authorizes it to 
"ordain and enforce a constitution, by-laws, rules, and regulations," 
not inconsistent with the constitutions and statutes of the United 
States and the state of Wisconsin: and that article 1, section 1, of 
the Society's own constitution adopted in 1897 in pursuance of this 
authorization sets forth as the object of the Society "the collection, 
preservation, exhibition, and publication of materials for the study 
of history, especially the history of this state and of the Middle West ; 
to this end, * * * publishing and otherwise diffusing information 
relative to the history of the region, and in general encouraging and 
developing within this state the study of history." Without being 
a lawyer I am under the impression that the foregoing is conclusive 
with respect to the question of legality. Whether conclusive or not 
it is clear that the practice which you have been informed is illegal 
is of over sixty years' duration and that the three secretaries of the 

A Critic and a Certificate of Character 


Society, Draper, Thwaites, and myself, as well as the numerous state 
officials who have in the past disbursed state funds in this connection 
are alike responsible for the practice. 

Turning to the matter of the loan of books from the library the 
practice today stands on the same basis as it has always stood so 
far as the sources of information at my command disclose. The 
library has always been regarded as primarily a reference library. 
Along with this books have been circulated to such an extent as might 
be possible, having in view the general character of the library and - 
the extension of the greatest service to the greatest number of users. 
There are certain classes of books which are not loaned away from 
the building either because of their rarity or value, or because of the 
consideration that the greater interest of the public is served by re- 
taining them for use within it. There is nothing new about this 
policy. It is true that changing conditions and demands from time to 
time must be met by corresponding changes in the application of the 
general policy laid down. The executive committee has passed no 
order to my knowledge prohibiting the loan of books from the library, 
and there has not been a day since my administration began that 
books have not been out on loan. On January 29, the day you in- 
troduced your petitioner's communication, some fifty of our volumes 
were scattered over the state and about one hundred thirty more 
were in the hands of teachers and students of the University, state 
officials, and others here at the capital. 

The reasonable limits to which this communication may extend 
will not permit me to note and refute all of the errors of detail con- 
tained in your petitioner's communication. I request, therefore, that 
my omission to note any given assertion shall not be construed as 
acquiescing in its accuracy. 

You have been informed that in the last three years the Society 
has given up state history entirely. I merely note by way of com- 
ment that at the present time the state printer has in course of pub- 
lication two volumes, one devoted wholly to state history (An Eco- 
nomic History of Wisconsin during the Civil War Decade) and the 
other chiefly to the history of the state; and further that there has 
not been a single instant during the three years of my administra- 
tion during which one or more works on the history of the state has 
not been under preparation. 



You have been told that the cost of this "foreign" work is about 
$20,000 annually. For the reason that the work is inextricably 
bound up in the general administration of the Society it is not 
possible for me to give a precise statement of the sums spent annually 
on that portion complained of. It is perfectly safe to say, however, 
that it does not exceed one-fifth the amount you have been informed. 
The detailed information upon which this estimate is based will 
cheerfully be placed at your disposal if you care to take the time 
to go into it. 

You are informed that the library building cost the state 
$770,000 and the library itself about $5,000,000. I do not perceive 
that this information is at all germane to the subject under discus- 
sion, yet I advert to it by way of illustrating the carelessness of your 
petitioner's statements. The cost of the library building, it is true, 
was $770,000. There is no way of ascertaining at the present day 
the cost of the library through the sixty years of its existence. Since 
1901, however, the appropriation for the purchase of books and 
similar material has totalled about $97,000. During the Civil War 
period nothing whatever was being spent. For the whole period 
from 1854-1901 it seems probable that the average expenditure did 
not equal or exceed one- third the amount appropriated since 1901. 
Assuming, however, an annual average expenditure of $6,000 for the 
entire sixty-three year period the total amount would be something 
less than $400,000 instead of the $5,000,000 you have been informed. 

With respect to the advice which your petitioner gives the legisla- 
ture as to the conditions which it should attach to the Society's 
appropriation, it may be said that in part matters of judgment only 
are involved, Of the wisdom of the petitioner's judgment I submit 
this single illustration: It is complained that the annual address in 
the last three years has not concerned the history of Wisconsin. The 
titles of the three addresses in question (the last two of which only am 
I personally responsible for) have been : The Treaty of Ghent — and 
After ; The President of the United States ; and Abraham Lincoln as 
War Statesman. Concerning the first it may be noted that both 
British and American armies operated in Wisconsin during the War 
of 1812 and that the very address complained of recounts the 
strenuous efforts of the British negotiators of the treaty to make 

A Critic and a Certificate of Character 


Wisconsin along with the Northwest a great Indian barrier state. 
With respect to the second and third I venture to observe that the 
president of the United States is also the president of the citizens of 
Wisconsin and that Abraham Lincoln was war statesman for Wis- 
consin as well as for the rest of the country ; in short, that all three 
of these subjects were eminently proper for the State Historical 
Society of Wisconsin to listen to ; and that whether proper or im- 
proper they differ in no material respect from the addresses of pre- 
ceding years when the administration of the Society was in other 
hands than my own. 

In conclusion, permit me to remind you that in the Historical 
Library the state possesses one of the great reference libraries of the 
country, recognized as such far and wide by scholars. It is not ques- 
tioned that the legislature has the right either to destroy it or to 
revolutionize it at its option. The measures aimed at by your peti- 
tioner amount not to a reform, but to a revolution. On every proper 
occasion I have urged members of the legislature to visit the library 
and acquaint themselves with its operation. I desire to improve the 
present opportunity to extend this invitation to you personally and 
through you to every member of the present state legislature. Until 
you shall thus acquaint yourself with our work I respectfully sug- 
gest that it would be inadvisable on the strength of mere unfounded 
assertions either to revolutionize or to ruin the state's greatest 

Very truly yours, 

[Signed] M. M. Quaife 

February 1, 1917. 

No. 3 : Forward Wisconsin 3 
By Publius V. Lawson, LL. B. 

In reports of the Superintendent of the State Historical Society 
he says: 

"It may readily be conceded that established society in Wisconsin 
is still too immature.' 1 

8 This document, thus entitled by the author, was sent in broadcast fa&hlOfl 
to public officials and private citizens of the state during the autumn and winter 
of 1918-19. 



"That the citizens of Wisconsin have never individually come to 
the support of their historical society." 

"A large portion of the citizens of Wisconsin are uninformed 
concerning its work, and even unaware of its existence." 

The entire state has just passed through a period of reply to 
slander of our good name from outside, and the author of that quoted 
above expects a reply. Wisconsin leads the world in art, literature, 
education, political science, welfare laws, statesmanship, invention, 
mechanics, manufacture, agriculture, dairying, bred cattle, bred 
seeds, and medical science. In seventy years of statehood it has ad- 
vanced the world most in comfort, progress and human rights of 
any similar commonwealth. Nothing immature about that. 

As to the support of the Society: The state has built for it a 
beautiful marble building costing $770,000, donated something over 
a million dollars for its library, and much more than a million for 
maintenance of the Society. During the five years past the state 
has donated about $350,000 for maintenance, out of which the one 
who wrote the above libel on our people has taken about $20,000. 
In bequests the Society have received $114,000 during its existence. 
The above is a complete answer to nonsupport by our state indi- 
vidually and collectively. 

As to the admission that the Society has not met with its ex- 
pected success, and therefore the people of the state are "not aware 
of its existence," is unfortunately too true. The reason is obvious. 
The reason is its one man factor, whose work is scattered, scheme- 
less, with no logical or natural order or design to promote the his- 
tory of Wisconsin, but ranges over a rummage field, from an insult 
to the Pope of Rome to a "reprint" on "ginseng plant," two 
centuries out of date. It may interest loyal admirers of our state 
to look over the slack scattered and useless efforts of the Society 
and therein will be found the reason why the Society gets nowhere. 
It is to be found in its kind of publications. An annotated list of 
the motley disassociated subjects with a territorial range of the whole 
union is given below. 

The purpose of founding the Society was to promote the history 
of Wisconsin and not to exploit the gold diggers of California, or 
reprint a two century old French work on ginseng, or exploit a news 

A Critic and a Certificate of Character 


article making insulting reference to the Pope. Draper in numerous 
addresses told how the Society was to glorify the state. Judge 
Baensch, its president, said four years ago, "the plan of the Society 
contemplates it be the people's society." 

The charter of the Society limits its right to publish in these 
words, "to diffuse and publish information relating to the descrip- 
tion and history of the state" — Chapter 17, Laws 1853. This right 
has never been changed or modified and stands the governing law of 
the Society today. The Society has not now and never had any 
right to employ its staff in editing foreign works not pertaining to 
the history of our state, or to publish them at expense of its tax- 
payers. To do so is a criminal misuse of the funds of the Society. 
The legislature has made the Society generous donations assuming it 
would conform to its foundation law and exploit the marvelous story 
of our state. No one ever expected it to waste its time and rich 
inheritance as promised by the Superintendent, "to include every im- 
portant aspect of the historical field," for which "no single lifetime 
will suffice." To include this world history the name of its published 
works is changed from the well-known "collections" to "publica- 
tions," and error of law, morals, and judgment that has been vigor- 
ously practiced, while work on Wisconsin history he reports as 
"indefinite and remote." Thus our state on the waiting list is 

The Society should have at its head one who is for our state, 
who loves its story and traditions. The reputation, glory, and won- 
derful achievements of the great pioneers of art, letters, science, and 
mechanics who have made our state the grandest of all common- 
wealths should not be left to uninformed strangers to record their 
glorious works. 

A list of illegal miscellany and misfit literature produced by the 

"Removing the Papacy to Chicago" — a ribald jest, uncalled for, 
and exposing the entire schemeless fritter of present activities of the 
Society. Moreover the article is copied from the Chicago pre&S 
without credit. It should be repudiated. 

Proposed volume on Ginseng — a reprint of a French work of 
1716, on ginseng, two centuries old. Fortunately tin's work of trans- 
lation has been held back by the war. 



Captain Pryor — 8 pages — an officer in Lewis and Clark Expedi- 

"Dream of Northwest Conspiracy" — 40 pages — relates to the 
Civil War conspiracy of Vallandigham. 

Journal of Journey Detroit to Miamitown, Indiana in 1790. 52 
pages proceedings. 

Proposed to publish "one or more volumes on California Gold 
Seekers" having procured several diaries for this purpose and adver- 
tises for more. 

Journal of Lewis and Ordway up the Missouri River to the 
Pacific — a volume of 444 pages, which critics say contained nothing 
new as all had been published before. Cost state about $5,000. Five 
members of the staff labored on it for six months. 

Proposed work on Kentucky History has employed the time of 
the staff for four years. Recently the Superintendent exults in 
getting $2,000 from Kentucky to help pay for assistance on the 
work. Thus calmly making of Wisconsin a print shop to edit, print, 
publish, and bind the history of Kentucky. 

"Chicago's First Lawsuit" — a slave case tried in Louisiana — 15 

"McKay's Journal" — of journey on upper Missouri River, 24 
pages, of which the Superintendent says, "It is not expected that 
it will prove interesting." 

Reproduction of all files of Missouri Newspapers down to 1825. 

"The Frontier a World Problem" in which the name of our state 
does not occur. 

"A Constitutional Series" "will run to several volumes." This is 
the special travail of the Superintendent, "unmature" in state his- 
tory and unlearned in the law — unsuspecting that "brevity is the 
soul of wit." 

Magazine of History, should be of "Wisconsin History." 

"Frontier advance on Upper Ohio" contains old letters of the 
Revolutionary war near Pittsburgh, of which four volumes have 
been issued costing the state about $20,000, and employed the best 
talent in the Society who could work wonders for our state history 
if permitted to do so. Two volumes more of the work is promised at 
the expense of Wisconsin and its history. 

A Critic and a Certificate of Character 


The Farmer Bottomley papers in a volume costing several thou- 
sand dollars, which was an "enterprise to which the personal atten- 
tion of the Superintendent" was given, best exhibits his conception 
of the glorious achievements of the people of this state and why 
he regards them as "immature." 

The Preston Virginia papers — a volume calendar, which the 
Superintendent says "is as interesting as a tax list," cost the state 
about $5,000. The report says : "It is expected before its termina- 
tion this series will include a considerable number of volumes." 

The Annual Address for the last five years has been made by an 
outsider on a subject not connected with the state. 

The superintendent and staff are employed most of the time on 
six periodicals not connected with the Society, but edited, proof 
read and carried on at its expense and in its offices. These are : 

(1) The proof reading and work due to editing the volumes 
brought out by the Lakeside Press of Chicago. State does not print 
the work as yet. 

(2) "The Mississippi Valley Historical Review 99 — a quarterly 
edited, and all work done by the staff. The state has not as yet been 
asked to print it, but the Society pays $200 to aid the work. 

(3) "In like fashion it assists in making possible the publica- 
tion of "Writings on American History." 

(4) "It has donated the labor, by no means light, of editing 
the "Proceedings of the Mississippi Valley Historical Society." 

(5) Development of Chicago — a volume edited and proof read 
by the staff, but state not yet asked to print. 

All the information of this paper is found in reports of the 
Society for 1914-15-16-17. 

The publication of this inappropriate material has been justified 
by the Superintendent by reference to the work of his predecessor, 
Dr. Thwaites. But the reference is an injustice. The Sons of the 
American Revolution paid for the three volumes of the events of 
the Revolution on the Upper Ohio, and Dr. Thwaites never supposed 
the Society was authorized to carry on publication of foreign history. 



No. 4: Report of the Special Joint Committee of the Legis- 
lature to Investigate the Affairs and Management of 
the State Historical Society 4 

The special joint committee of the legislature appointed under 
joint resolution No. 48, S. to make an investigation of the manage- 
ment and affairs of the State Historical Society and report to the 
legislature, submit the following report: 

The committee had exhaustive hearings on the affairs of the 
State Historical Society, especially as relating to complaints made 
by Honorable P. V. Lawson, and while admitting Mr. Lawson's deep 
devotion to the Society and as having only its best interests at 
heart, in the judgment of the committee a misguided zeal led him to 
make complaints that the committee finds were entirely unwarranted 
and unjustified. 

In the opinion of the committee the Society should have broad 
discretionary powers in the matter of publications that it issues, and 
while these publications should relate primarily, of course, to the 
history of our own state, the committee recognizes the fact that 
this history cannot be made separate and distinct from other history, 
especially the history of the great West, of which Wisconsin was 
originally an integral part; and to limit historical publications to 
events that transpired within the present state boundaries appears 
illogical and undesirable. This matter should, the committee be- 
lieves, be left entirely to the discretion and good judgment of the 
Society. The committee finds that the Society has issued no pub- 
lications that were not entirely warranted. 

In regard to loaning books from the library the committee be- 
lieves that the Society, quite contrary to the complaint made that it 
has not been responsive enough in complying with requests for the 
loan of books and other material from the library, has if anything 
pursued a policy the committee would characterize as too liberal. 
The State Historical Library from its very nature is not, was not 
intended to be, and cannot be construed to be a circulating library. 
Many of its books are rare volumes that could not be replaced at 
all or only at great expense and it would seem preposterous to allow 

4 Reprinted from the Senate Journal for June 12, 1919. 

A Critic and a Certificate of Character 109 

these to be sent broadcast over the state. The committee is of the 
firm opinion that the State Historical Library was intended to be a 
reference library and all acts of the legislature and the wording of 
the charter, constitution, and by-laws of the Society seem to bear 
out that assertion. The rooms of the Society are open at all times 
to the public to secure any desired information and the committee 
finds that it is not even necessary for persons living outside of the 
capital city to come to Madison to secure the information they want 
but that it will be furnished on written application by the Society, 
the staff of which the committee finds is ready at all times to make 
the most thorough research of its collections to obtain and supply 
the information desired. The courtesy and accommodation of the 
staff in such inquiries for information could not be more commend- 
able. To find books and volumes necessary for research work by 
parties who come to the reference library missing therefrom because 
they have been sent out to other points in the state would be in the 
opinion of the committee an ill-advised state of affairs. The practice 
of loaning out books has been it seems merely one established by 
custom. The committee recognizes the fact that there may be books, 
pamphlets, and other material not of intrinsic value and not of a 
rare nature that can with propriety be loaned out on request with- 
out detriment to the interests of the Society as an accommodation 
to the public, and the authority to make such loans might wisely be 
possessed by the Society to be exercised in its discretion and judg- 
ment subject to such rules and restrictions as may be adopted by 
the Society. 

In the absence of statutory provisions on this subject the com- 
mittee introduces and recommends for passage the following bill in 
order that there may be no more controversy over the loaning of 
books by the Society. 


To create subsection (8) of section 44.02 of the statutes, relat- 
ing to the State Historical Society. 



The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and 
assembly, do enact as follows: 

SECTION 1. A new subsection is added to section 44.02 of the 
statutes to read: (44.02) (8). To loan, in its discretion, for such 
periods and under such rules and restrictions as it may adopt, to 
libraries, educational institutions, and other organizations, or to 
private individuals in good standing, such books, pamphlets, or 
other materials that if lost or destroyed could easily and without 
much expense be replaced; but no work on genealogy, newspaper 
file, or book, map, chart, document, manuscript, pamphlet, or other 
material whatsoever of a rare nature shall be permitted to be sent 
out from the library under any circumstances. 

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage and pub- 

The committee also recommends for indefinite postponement bill 
No. 51, S., re-referred to this committee from the committee on state 

The committee finds the affairs of the Society financially and in 
every other respect most excellently managed, with a staff, members 
of which have been with the Society for a score of years or more, and 
whose work to them has become more a labor of love for the institu- 
tion and its success than for the pecuniary remuneration they re- 
ceive. This is highly gratifying in view of the high standing and 
reputation the Society, which was founded in 1853, has obtained all 
over the nation. Housed in one of the finest buildings of the state, 
with a floor space of three acres, in which are deposited over 200,000 
invaluable historical volumes and documents, constituting the third 
and perhaps second largest historical library in the United States 
and one of the largest in the world, it has become a repository of 
reference material that is consulted for important information not 
only by every class of activity in our own state but often in the 
nation. The committee does not hesitate to say that every mem- 
ber thereof was not only profoundly impressed but actually amazed 
to find it such a big, comprehensive, serviceable, and helpful institu- 
tion in which the state may take intense pride and the committee 
hopes that every citizen of the state may find opportunity to visit 
the library and see from a personal inspection what a wonderful 
institution Wisconsin possesses in its State Historical Society. 

A Critic and a Certificate of Character 


A complete record of the proceedings at the hearings held by 
the committee is attached herewith to be filed as a part of this report. 

Senator H. E. Roethe, (Chairman) 
Senator A. J. Pullen 


No. 5: Mr. Lawson's Comment on the Report of the Joint 
Legislative Committee 5 

"The press notice sent out from Madison entitled 'Historical 
Society Given Clean Slate,' was incorrect, not true, and misleading. 
The Historical Society is housed by the state in a granite and marble 
building costing $770,000. The state has appropriated some 
$6,000,000 for equipment and maintenance in the last seventy years, 
and this year $63,500. For five years past most of the publications 
have been books on Kentucky, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Lewis and 
Ordway up the Missouri River, all of it thirty to seventy-five years 
before Wisconsin was a territory. Promised works were several 
volumes on the gold diggers of California, and translation of a work 
on ginseng from Paris, 200 years old. Because of such gross neglect 
of Wisconsin history the legislature investigated the Society. 

"In its findings the committee was careful to refer to the great 
collections of the Society and administer rebuke without injuring the 
Society, in which it was wise. Of its publications the report says : 
'The publications should relate primarily, of course, to the history, of 
our state, the committee recognizes the fact that this history can- 
not be made separate and distinct from other history, especially the 
history of the West of which Wisconsin was originally an integral 
part.' This finding was exactly in accordance with the complaint 
made in which it was shown the anti-Wisconsin attitude of the Society 
had in late years almost entirely ignored state history. 

"Another complaint was the refusal of the Society in last four 
years to loan genealogies outside of the building, for the sole reason 
someone may call at the library to consult the book while it is loaned 
up state. It was maintained by complainant that the people up state 

8 Reprinted from Milwaukee Journal, July 2, 1919. 



who paid for the books by taxation have as much right to the loan of 
the books as the one who called at the library. And the expense of 
going to Madison to consult the books was prohibitive. The investi- 
gating committee entirely agreed with this view, and proposed a bill 
compelling the loan of all books except those 'of a rare nature.' 

"Thus the only two contentions made in the complaint of the 
conduct of the Historical Society were sustained by the legislative 
investigating committee." 



From the date of the last report (in the June "Survey of His- 
torical Activities") to July 8, 1919, thirty-eight persons became 
members of the State Historical Society. Six of these were life 
members, as follows : Rev. Harry W. Blackman, Algoma ; Dr. G. R.- 
Egeland, Sturgeon Bay; William O. Goodrich, Milwaukee; Asher B. 
Nichols, Jr., Milwaukee; Miss Louise Schlegelmilch, Eau Claire; 
W. E. Wagener, Sturgeon Bay. 

The following thirty-two persons joined the Society in the ca- 
pacity of annual members : Miss Olive M. Anderson, Ephraim ; Miss 
Grace L. Blackford, Albany; Mrs. James J. Blaine, Madison; Rev. 
Realf 0. Brandt, McFarland; C. E. Broughton, Sheboygan; Francis 
A. Cannon, Madison; H. L. Cooper, Jamaica Plain, Mass.; William 
N. Clark, Radisson; Rev. F. S. Dayton, New London; Mrs. H. P. 
Greeley, Madison; H. A. Hartman, Milwaukee; E. Helgeson, 
Ephraim; Miss Agnes L. Holdahl, Ellsworth; Rev. Joseph Jameson, 
Jacksonport; Paul G. W. Keller, Appleton; B. P. Larkin, Benton; 
Rev. Henry A. Link, Marshfield; Rev. James C. Morris, Madison; 
Erwin P. Nemmers, Milwaukee; 0. M. Olson, Ephraim; William A. 
Oppel, Madison; H. L. Peterson, Sturgeon Bay; Dr. Thomas C. 
Proctor, Sturgeon Bay ; Dr. A. J. Pullen, Fond du Lac ; Rev. F. P. 0. 
Reed, Chippewa Falls; Rev. D. A. Richardson, Madison; Hon. H. E. 
Roethe, Fennimore; C. S. Smith, Ephraim; Harrison A. Smith, Madi- 
son; H. E. Stedman, Sturgeon Bay; Everett M. Valentine, Ephraim; 
Rt. Rev. W. W. Webb, Milwaukee. 

Dr. A. J. Pullen and Hon. H. E. Roethe were the two repre- 
sentatives from the senate on the joint legislative committee which 
during the spring conducted the investigation of the affairs of the 
Society. A gratifying indication of the nature of the impression 
which the investigation made upon them is afforded by the fact that 
immediately upon its conclusion both Dr. Pullen and Mr. Roethe 
indicated their desire to become members of the Society. 

In the death of Frederic K. Conovcr of Madison, May 7, 1919, 
the Society lost one of its oldest and most devoted curators. Mr. 
Conovcr was born on the University campus in 1857, the son of Pro- 
fessor Obadiah Conover, and spent his entire life in Madison. For 
nearly thirty-six years lie had boon the reporter of the Supremo 


Survey of Historical Activities 

Court of Wisconsin, his father having held this office for the twenty 
years preceding Mr. Conover's term. Quiet and retiring in disposi- 
tion he discharged his duties with unusual care and ability, making 
the Wisconsin reports a model for accuracy and clarity. Mr. 
Conover became a curator of the Historical Society in 1893 and 
served continuously until his death, a period of more than a quarter 
of a century. With W. A. P. Morris and Senator William F. Vilas 
he was chiefly instrumental in drafting in 1897 the Society's present 
constitution and by-laws. 

Orlando E. Clark of Appleton, long a member of the State His- 
torical Society and likewise for long years a regent of the University 
of Wisconsin, died at his home May 22, 1919. The death of Mr. 
Clark is a distinct loss to his home community, to the University, 
and to the Historical Society. Elsewhere we note the gift by the 
family of certain of his papers to the Society. 

Philo A. Orton died at his Darlington home June 17, 1919 at the 
age of eighty-two. Mr. Orton was a native of New York who came 
to Wisconsin in 1850. His father, Justice Harlow Orton, was one of 
Wisconsin's leading jurists. He was also one of the founders of 
the State Historical Society, having sponsored in the legislature the 
bill which still stands of the charter of the Society, and thereafter 
until his death as member and officer manifested an active interest in 
the Society's work and welfare. The son, Philo Orton, was likewise 
a member of long standing in the Society. He was prominent in the 
affairs of his home community, serving as judge, district attorney, 
legislator, and for twenty-nine years as president of the board of 

Chauncey H. Cooke of Mondovi was born at Columbus, Ohio, in 
1846. He spent his youth in pioneer Wisconsin and at the age of 
sixteen enlisted in the Twenty-fifth Wisconsin Infantry. In May, 
1865, on his nineteenth birthday, he was mustered out at Madison, 
a veteran of nearly three years' campaigning. Mr. Cooke went into 
the service with his father's dictum that this was "a war for human 
rights and human liberty" ringing in his ears. His diary and war 
time letters, published in booklet form some years since, give evidence 
that he afforded a good example of the type of citizen soldiery of 
which America is justly proud. He so conducted himself in after j 
life that the business houses of his home city closed for two hours \ 
on the day of his funeral, May 14, 1919. Boy though he was, Mr. ; 
Cooke's soldier letters were charmingly written. We look forward j 
to a suitable opportunity for laying some of them before our readers j 
by printing them in a future issue of this Magazine. 

The Society and the State 


On May 3, 1919 died David F. Sayre of the town of Porter, Rock 
County, aged ninety-seven years. Mr. Say re's interesting career was 
noted in our survey for June, 1919. A graduate from college in 
1844, he came to Wisconsin five years later, practicing law in Fulton 
for a time and then removing to the farm where he passed the remain- 
der of his long life. Not long before his death Mr. Sayre turned over 
to the Historical Library two reminiscent articles on life in early 
Wisconsin which we hope eventually to lay before our readers. 

Lucien B. Caswell, "grand old man" of Fort Atkinson died at his 
home at the age of ninety-one, April 26, 1919. Born in Vermont in 
1827, at the age of nine years he was brought by his parents to Wis- 
consin. Chicago was then a small town of three years' antiquity, 
while Milwaukee had seen its first growth of any consequence that 
same season. The family spent the winter of 1837 at Juneau's trad- 
ing house, Milwaukee, and in the spring removed to a farm in Rock 
County near Lake Koshkonong. Here young Caswell grew to man- 
hood. He read law at Beloit in the office of one Matt. Carpenter, 
and in 1852 opened a law office at Fort Atkinson. Thereafter for 
sixty-seven years Mr. Caswell practiced law in this community. For 
sixty-five years he was a member of the school board of the place. 
He organized the First National Bank of Fort Atkinson during the 
Civil War and was serving as its president at the time of his death. 
He was actively connected with other industrial enterprises of his 
home community and bore a prominent share in its public and social 
life. In 1862 Mr. Caswell accompanied Governor Harvey's party 
to Tennessee bearing supplies to Wisconsin's sick and wounded 
soldiers, this being the journey which ended in the death of Governor 
Harvey by drowning in the Tennessee River. Mr. Caswell repre- 
sented his district in Congress for fourteen years beginning in 1874, 
and had a part in much important legislation. In recent years he 
devoted much of his time to preparing a history of his life ; and this 
narrative it is said will be published at some future date. 

It may perhaps be a matter of news to many friends of the State 
Historical Society that its library contains one of the principal 
collections of works on Mormonism in existence. Some additions of 
unusual interest have recently been made to the periodical section of 
this collection. From a very early date in its history the Mormon 
Church exhibited great proselyting zeal, missionaries being sent 
forth in true apostolic fashion to the ends of the earth. In par- 
ticular did the mission to England flourish; and almost from the 
time of its establishment a constant stream of recruits journeyed 
across the ocean in search of their promised land. The prosolytcrs 
had much faith in the power of the press, and Mormon periodicals 

116 Survey of Historical Activities 

were established wherever thr^faith gained a real footing. The recent 
additions to the Historical Library are Vol. 1 of Le Reflecteur, estab- 
lished at Geneva in January, 1853; Vol. 1 of Etoile Du Deseret, 
begun at Paris in May, 1851 ; and Vols. I, II, III, and VI of Ugdorn 
Seion neu Seven Y Saint, established at Merthyr-Tydfil, Wales, in 
January, 1849. 

We take pleasure in reporting to our members an act of graceful 
generosity on the part of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Two 
or three years ago its editor, Mr. Worthington Ford, was engaged 
in reproducing by photostatic process the early file of the Boston 
Gazette, one of America's earliest newspapers. The paper was estab- 
lished in 1719; and it chances that the only file for several of its 
early years which has escaped destruction is preserved in the Wiscon- 
sin Historical Library. Accordingly Mr. Ford sought and obtained 
the opportunity of photostating these volumes. Late in June there 
came to the library a shipment of eleven bound newspaper volumes, 
photo statically reproduced, and simultaneously therewith a letter 
from Mr. Ford explaining that they were being sent as a gift from 
the Massachusetts society in recognition of the courtesy we had ac- 
corded them. The volumes include every known issue of the Gazette 
from its establishment in 1719 to the end of the year 1736. "It is 
presented," Mr. Ford writes, "to the State Historical Society of 
Wisconsin by the Massachusetts Historical Society, in recognition 
of its generosity in permitting it to use the Wisconsin file. I would 
add that only two sets were printed, one for your library and one 
for this Society." The gift is one of much intrinsic value, but we 
prize it the more for the evidence it affords of the good will felt 
for us by the oldest American historical society. 

Over one hundred bound volumes of eighteenth and early nine- 
teenth century newspapers, the most important single acquisition of 
newspaper files in many years, came to the Society in June. Excluding 
from consideration portions of files which duplicate papers already 
found in our newspaper collection and also numerous short or scat- 
tering runs, the more important items thus acquired are listed below. 
They constitute a gratifying addition to the Society's great and ever 
growing collection of newspaper files. The dates given are inclusive 
in all cases: 

Philadelphia Pennsylvania Gazette, 1766-69. 

Georgetown Federal Republican and Commercial Gazette, 
August, 1812-August, 1813. 

Baltimore Federal Republican and Baltimore Telegraph, 1817- 
May, 1821. 

The Society and the State 


Washington Republican, 1823. 
Washington National Journal, 1826-30. 

Washington United States Telegraph, April, 1827- April, 1829 ; 
July, 1833-February 1837. 

Cincinnati Liberty Hall and Cincinnati Gazette, September, 1829- 
June, 1830. 

Boston Courier, August, 1829-August, 1830; 1831-32; July, 

Columbus Ohio State Journal and Columbus Gazette, January- 
June, 1831. 

Baltimore Commercial Chronicle and Daily Marylander, August- 
December, 1834. 

Charleston Mercury, 1835-36; 1841-April, 1842. 
- Lexington (Ky.) Intelligencer, July-December, 1835; July, 
1837-39. 1 

Washington Globe, July-December, 1835. 

Milledgeville (Ga.) Journal, January- June, 1836. 

Detroit Daily Advertiser, July, 1840-April, 1842. 

Vicksburg Daily Whig, 1840-41; November, 1860-March, 1861. 

Washington Union, November, 1843-50; 1853-54; July, 1855- 
April, 1858. 

New Orleans Price Current, 1845-August, 1846; September, 
1853-August, 1857. 

St. Louis Price Current, May, 1856- April, 1857. 

Through the kindness of Richard Lloyd Jones, editor of the 
Wisconsin State Journal, the Society has come into possession of a 
gift of unusual historical interest, one intimately associated with the 
death of President Lincoln. We tell the story of it in the words of 
Mr. Jones in his letter transmitting the gift to the Society : 

"In the summer of 1907 I received a letter from a lady whose 
name I have unfortunately forgotten, stating that her sister and she 
possessed the counterpane under which Abraham Lincoln died and 
would like to turn that counterpane over to me to dispose of as I 
saw fit. Would I please advise her if I were willing to accept it 
either as a gift or as a trust. On the evening of that day I called 
upon her. She and her sister were living on one of the eighty's on 
the west side of New York City, in a very fine house, though unpre- 
tentious in the New York sense. They were obviously people of 
affluence and culture. 

"They showed me the counterpane and told me that it was in 
their aunt's house that Mr. Lincoln died. That house is now occupied 
by the Oldroyd Lincoln Collection. When their aunt gave up that 
house some years after Lincoln's death, she gave this historic conn- 


Survey of Historical Activities 

terpane to her two nieces. They had kept it in their New York 
home, but were planning to move to Italy to spend the remainder of 
their lives, and did not wish to take such a valuable relic. 

"Knowing my interest in Lincoln matters, they decided to turn 
it over to me and in doing so they made it a gift to me personally, 
stating that they would be satisfied with any disposition I might make 
of it. At that time the ladies wrote out a full statement of the facts, 
giving their names, address, and the date of the transfer, which paper, 
I am sorry to say, was mislaid when I moved from New York to 
Madison. Should it ever come to light I will, of course, turn it over 
to the Wisconsin Historical Society. This counterpane, it may be 
stated, was the best spread of the household and when Mr. Lincoln 
was carried from the Ford theater directly across the street the best 
the house could provide was of course his. The counterpane was 
not used by the family after Mr. Lincoln's death. 

"Very truly yours, 

Richard Lloyd Jones." 

Madison, April 15, 1919. 

The thirteenth annual meeting of the Waukesha County Histori- 
cal Society was held in the Congregational Church at Waukesha, 
May 3, 1919. Aside from business reports, election of officers, and 
musical offerings two historical papers were given. Dan Camp dis- 
cussed "The Old Fashioned Family Doctor," and Mrs. Elmer Harris 
told of "Early Days at North Lake and Vicinity." 

Reports from Prairie du Chien convey the information that in 
April last one of the city's old landmarks was destroyed to make way 
for a modern improvement. The building in question was erected in 
1817 by Frances La Pointe and for nearly forty years was used as a 
store in conducting the fur trade with the Indians. It stood on a lot 
which had been claimed and occupied by one Jean Marie Quere in 
1786. From him the title passed to La Pointe in 1817. 

To Captain David G. James of Richland Center, Civil War and 
Andersonville Prison veteran and long an advocate of woman suf- 
frage, came in June a peculiar and gratifying distinction. Illinois 
and Wisconsin ratified the suffrage amendment to the federal con- 
stitution the same day and thus became the first two states to ratify. 
There ensued a race for the honor of being first to place the official 
notification in the hands of the Secretary of State at Washington. 
Illinois entrusted her certificate to the mails, while Wisconsin with 
greater shrewdness pinned its hopes upon Captain James. Entrusted 
with the certificate, he beat the mail service of Uncle Sam in the race 

The Society and the State 


to Washington and gained for Wisconsin the honor of being the first 
state officially to record its ratification of the suffrage amendment. 

At the opening of June the city of Ripon celebrated with impres- 
sive ceremony the seventy-fifth anniversary of its birth. The opening 
program was staged in Ceresco Park, opposite the Phalanx building 
where the original document of incorporation for the village was 
drawn. S. M. Pedrick, curator of the State Historical Society, de- 
livered an address on "The Wisconsin Phalanx." 

On July 5, 1869 the Old Settlers' Club of Milwaukee County was ' 
formally organized. During the half century that has since passed 
the Club has been a definite and active factor in the life of the com- 
munity ; and its history has afforded much material for the emulation 
of similar organizations. Two meetings are regularly held yearly, a 
banquet on Washington's birthday and a summer outing usually held 
at Soldiers' Home. At the time of writing this notice plans were 
under way for the appropriate observance by the Club, late in July, 
of its semicentennial anniversary. 

On June 19, 1919 an Indian festival was held at Reserve on the 
Lac Courte Oreilles reservation in Sawyer County, in celebration of 
the homecoming of some eighty soldier boys which the local Chippewa 
band furnished to the United States army in the World War. In 
honor of the occasion Governor E. L. Philipp and a party which in- 
cluded Dr. W. C. Deemer of the United States Forestry department 
and Mr. C. E. Brown of the State Historical Society made the jour- 
ney from Madison to Stone Lake and from there to Reserve to be 

The ceremonies of the day began at 10 a.m. with the celebration 
of high mass in the Indian church ; this impressive service was fol- 
lowed by a Corpus Christi procession through the streets of the 
village led by the visiting Catholic priests, soldiers, and the congre- 
gation. After the return to the church, a sumptuous banquet was 
served by the ladies of the reservation to the state officers, priests, 
and soldiers. 

The ceremonies of the afternoon were held on a tract of land 
fronting on the principal village street and overlooking charming 
Little Lac Courte Oreilles. These were introduced by several musical 
numbers rendered in a bowery booth by the band of the Indian school 
at Hayward. Addresses of welcome to the Governor and his party 
wore here delivered by several prominent Indians and by the sheriff 
of Sawyer County, to which the Chief Executive of the stair re- 
sponded in a fitting manner. The widely advertised Victory dance 


Survey of Historical Activities 

followed these addresses, about one hundred Indians, both men and 
women, in picturesque native costumes taking part to the music of 
several war drums. This dance continued for more than an hour, 
there being, because of the unusual heat of the day, several intermis- 
sions to permit the dancers to rest. During one of these intermis- 
sions Governor Philipp was led into the dance circle and honored by 
being formally declared a member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Chip- 
pewa band; he was given the very appropriate Indian name of 
Bugonakeshig II ( Hole-in- the-Day), this having been the name of a 
former war chief of the northwest Wisconsin Chippewa. Later in 
the afternoon an equally interesting and energetic squaw dance was 
given, this and musical numbers by the Indian band closing the 
program of the festival. 

A concourse of several thousand whites and Indians attended the 
festival, among the latter being native chiefs and families from the 
reservations at Odanah, Lac du Flambeau, and Red Cliff and from 
the St. Croix River band. A number of Dakota chiefs and their 
wives, clad in the characteristic buckskin, war bonnets, and beadwork 
ornaments, attended from South Dakota, special favor being shown 
to these. Every Indian home in Reserve entertained to its capacity 
numerous visiting relatives and friends. Dr. Deemer and Mr. Brown 
remained on the reservation during a part of the following day to 
obtain moving picture film, about one thousand five hundred feet of 
which was secured. A copy of this Indian festival film is to be pre- 
sented to the State Historical Society. 

The period of the World War has been the most interesting in the 
history of postage stamp collecting. It is stated that of a total of 
3,157 stamps issued by the countries concerned in the war the United 
States and allies have been responsible for the appearance of 2,274 
varieties, whereas the Central Powers have issued 689 new stamps. 
The neutral countries have not been idle. At least ten of these have 
been forced by the war to issue new stamps. 

The postage stamps issued during the war include charity and 
Red Cross; military, for use of the troops; occupation, for use of 
peoples of invaded lands; war tax; commemorative; revenue, and 
provisional issues made necessary because of shortage of customary 
paper or dyes, or increase of postal rates. It is to be expected that 
during the next year hundreds of new stamps will be issued by all of 
the countries taking part in the war and by the many new countries 
which have come into existence because of it. 

For several years past the State Historical Museum has been en- 
gaged in assembling a representative collection of American and 
foreign postage stamps and it now requests its numerous friends 

The Society and the State 


throughout the state to present to it all specimens of war stamps and 
any others of interest which may fall into their hands. Foreign 
postcards and envelopes and wrappers with interesting specimens of 
stamps upon them are also very much desired for the state collection. 
The Museum also wants United States precancelled stamps. The 
more duplicates the better since they can be used in making 

Special exhibits of postage stamps are made by the Museum 
throughout the year and these serve to interest hundreds of boys as 
well as numerous adult collectors who visit its halls. It will, there- 
fore, be grateful for any help which citizens of the state can give in 
perfecting its collection. In many homes are old stamp collections, 
large and small, made by some former member of the family; for 
such collections the Museum will be very grateful. Letters may be 
addressed to Mr. C. E. Brown, chief of the Historical Museum, 


An interesting addition to the great collection of Civil War let- 
ters now in the possession of the Historical Society was the acquisi- 
tion in May of about one hundred twenty-five letters written during 
the war by the late Captain Richard E. Carter of Dodgeville to 
his brother, William E. Carter of Lancaster, Grant County, and 
other members of the Carter family. Three Carter brothers, Richard 
E., William E., and George B., served in the Union army and all rose 
to distinction at the bar afterwards. The Carter letters follow in the 
main the movements and the fortunes of the Army of the Potomac, 
and being written by a young man of some academic training their 
observations and estimates are interesting. The writer occasionally 
observes, for instance, that McClellan is not a Napoleon or he would 
have followed up his advantages at times, and he early discerned the 
rising star of Grant. After the Union repulse at Fredericksburg in 
December, 1862, Captain Carter writes that he wishes the two armies 
of Virginia might stand and watch each other from opposite banks of 
the Rappahannock "for three years, or during the period of the war, 
unless sooner discharged," and let the army of the West do the 
fighting, "as they have always done." "Would," he continues, "that 
they could transfer our six or seven regiments to the West where 
we belong," etc. He is frequently in great depression over the war's 
outlook and censorious of the military policies, except that of the 
West, "where," he says ironically, "success, as usual, crowns our 

That the State Historical Society was not overlooking the pos- 
sibilities of such material as these letters contain is indicated in the 
following passage from one of them : 


Survey of Historical Activities 

"I this day got a letter from the State Historical Society of 
Wisconsin in which I am informed that I have been elected a corre- 
sponding member of the Society asking me to keep a diary, etc., for 
them. Would you do it? May it not be a benefit?" 

Whether or not Captain Carter kept a diary, he wrought admir- 
ably toward the same general end in these letters, which reflect much 
of the inner life, practices, and politics of the army. 


The family of the late Orlando E. Clark, a regent of the Univer- 
sity recently deceased at Appleton, has presented a few papers to the 
Society. Among them are some notes on the genealogy of the Clark 
Family of Saybrook, Connecticut, and some eighteenth century ser- 
mons of the Reverend Peter Stair of Warren, in the same state. 
The most important papers are those relating to the Democratic 
national convention at Charleston in April, 1860, adjourned after 
the secession of the Southern members to Baltimore. James Ford 
Rhodes says, "Never before or since has there been such a mingling 
of curiosity, interest, and concern as now prevailed concerning the 
action that would be taken by the national Democratic convention 
[of I860]." The Clark papers contain the official proceedings of the 
Wisconsin convention that in February elected delegates to the na- 
tional convention. Some material on the Illinois state and Cook 
County Democratic conventions foreshadows the secession at Charles- 
ton. For the national convention there are the manuscript lists of 
all the state delegations, and other papers concerning contested 
seats, especially those from Maryland and Georgia — these appar- 
ently are part of the documents of the committee on credentials. 
Manuscript copies of the proceedings and resolutions of the rump 
convention at Baltimore complete the collection. Throughout his 
busy life Mr. Clark methodically arranged and carefully preserved 
his private papers. The prospect is held out by the family that 
when time shall have been afforded to examine these papers the His- 
torical Society may expect to receive all whose character is such as 
to make this disposition of them appropriate. 


The papers of the Reverend Edward Huntington Merrell, D.D., 
former president of Ripon College, have been presented to the Society 
by his widow, Mrs. Ada Clark Merrell. Dr. Merrell came from Ober- 
lin College to Wisconsin in 1862 and devoted the remainder of his life 
to forwarding the educational interests of our state. At the time of 
his migration to Wisconsin the college at Ripon was in its infancy. 
With the election in 1863 of President William H. Merriam, the 
college took a fresh start. Professor Merrell assumed the chair of 

The Society and the State 


ancient languages and upon the resignation of President Merriam in 
1876 was elected his successor. For sixteen years President Merrell 
struggled to establish the college on a firm foundation, and he so far 
succeeded that to his regime Ripon owes much of its present prosper- 
ity. In 1891 President Merrell retired and accepted the chair of 
philosophy, which he held until 1907, when he was elected professor 
emeritus. He died in February, 1910. 

The papers which Mrs. Merrell has presented to the Society 
cover the period from 1870 to 1910; but the bulk of them relate to 
the era of Mr. Merrell's presidency and include his correspondence 
with well-known benefactors of western colleges both in the East and 
in the central West. A few political letters concern the national situ- 
ation in General Grant's administration and the situation during the 
Bennett Law agitation in Wisconsin. For the most part, however, 
the letters relate to educational and religious matters, the affairs of 
the college, the administration of missions, the question of the ortho- 
doxy of prominent divines. Altogether, although small in bulk, these 
papers are unusually interesting for the study of religious history in 
Wisconsin. For Ripon College students the collection is enriched by 
the letters and testimonials gathered by Mrs. Merrell when preparing 
a memorial of Mrs. Clarissa Tucker Tracy, one of the earliest mem- 
bers of Ripon's faculty, who "mothered" the students as well as 
taught and inspired them. 


Eugene Grover Updike, born in 1850 in New York State, removed 
as a boy to Wisconsin and was thereafter identified during his entire 
life with the state and its institutions. Sturdy both physically 
and mentally, a strong, independent thinker, and a moral leader 
of absolute fearlessness, he contributed as much as any man of 
his generation to the spiritual upbuilding of Wisconsin. He was 
educated at Lawrence College and entered the ministry of the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church in 1876. He held pastorates at Montello, 
Delavan, Lake Mills, Racine, and Milwaukee. From the latter place 
he went in 1889 to a church in Englewood, Illinois, whence the next 
year he came to Madison and entered upon his life work as pastor of 
the First Congregational Church. Here he had the privilege of 
preaching to thousands of the youth of the state in attendance at 
the University, as well as of upbuilding the strongest church of that 
denomination in the state. After a pastorate of twenty-seven ye ars. 
Dr. Updike died December 24, 1917. Mrs. Updike, who was one of 
the Favill family of Lake Mills, followed her husband in loss than a 
year. Through the kindness of her executors such of Dr. Updike's 
papers as have historical value have been placed in I ho State Histori- 


Survey of Historical Activities 

cal Library. They are rich in autographs of both political and 
religious leaders of the last generation. Among them we note letters 
from Judge Cassoday, John C. Spooner, Amos P. Wilder, Lyman 
Abbott, Charles Kendall Adams, Bishop James Bashford, Rev. John 
and Rev. Henry Favill, Washington Gladden, Judson Titsworth, 
Bishop John H. Vincent. These papers are useful for the religious 
history of the state, particularly for conditions in Wisconsin Metho- 
dism, when Dr. Updike about thirty years ago went over into Con- 
gregationalism. Although few in number they bear witness to the 
noble character of the man and the high esteem in which he was held 
by all moral progressives of his day. From such papers as these, 
historians of the future can reconstruct the struggle against the 
liquor traffic, and the fight for pure government, as well as the moral 
and spiritual uplift of our people during the generation that is now 
passing away. 


Through the interest and generosity of the late Henry P. 
Hamilton of Two Rivers the State Historical Society has become the 
owner of his remarkable collection of archeological materials. This 
great collection comprises the most notable gift of its kind, perhaps, 
which has come to the Society since its founding seventy years ago. 
For years it has been one of the best known private collections of its 
character in the country and has been visited and viewed at Mr. 
Hamilton's home by many of the leading American archeologists and 
ethnologists, as well as by hundreds of collectors and students. De- 
scriptions of it or of some of its contents have been printed in various 
books and pamphlets on American archeological history. In the re- 
ports of the Wisconsin Archeological Society, especially, many 
of its interesting classes of specimens have been described and illus- 
trated. Some years ago a valuation of $30,000 was placed upon it 
by a leading American dealer in antiquities since which time numer- 
ous valuable additions to it have been made. Several large eastern 
museums have at different times opened negotiations with its owner 
with a view to obtaining it. 

This collection has the special interest for students of local 
archeology of having been made almost wholly from old Indian vil- 
lage sites, mounds, and graves in this state. According to a recent 
statement of its owner the majority of its specimens were obtained 
from the Lake Michigan shore line between Two Rivers and Two 
Creeks and from the immediately surrounding regions in Manitowoc 
County. A catalogue is not yet available, but the contents include 
among numerous other specimens the largest number of native copper 
implements and ornaments in any collection, public or private, in the 

The Society and the State 


United States. Many of these are of the largest size, of the finest 
ancient aboriginal workmanship, and of rare forms. Their collec- 
tion and preservation has been for years Mr. Hamilton's specialty. 
They are said to number fourteen thousand pieces. The collection 
also contains numerous fine examples of Wisconsin flint implements 
as well as of stone axes, celts, hammers, gouges, adzes, and chisels. 
The series of fluted or ornamented stone axes is equalled only by 
that in the Ellsworth collection in the Logan Museum at Beloit Col- 
lege. Of the highly prized ornamental and ceremonial Indian art 
forms such as bird stones, banner stones, gorgets, boat stones, plum- 
mets, cones, hemispheres, pendants, beads, and tubes there are marly 
specimens. The assortment of pipes is an exceptional one. There are 
also many choice implements and ornaments made of antler, bone, 
hematite, shell, and of other materials and pottery vessels of a num- 
ber of shapes and sizes. Mr. Hamilton was one of the first collec- 
tors in the United States to recognize the great beauty and value of 
the exquisite so-called "jewel points" made of agate, jasper, and 
other semiprecious stones. His specimens, which number over two 
thousand, were selected from among the eighteen thousand which he 
once possessed; they were found on the banks of the Columbia and 
other rivers in Oregon and Washington. 

Mr. Hamilton began the collection of Indian implements and 
ornaments in 1884, his interest in these being inspired by the noted 
pioneer Wisconsin collector, Frederick S. Perkins of Burlington. 
Although a man of large business interests in his native city and else- 
where his enthusiastic interest in aboriginal stone and metal artifacts 
continued up to the very last moments of his life as shown in his 
letters to the chief of the Historical Museum. He was recognized as 
a leading student of American archeology and carried on a large 
correspondence with other collectors and experts in this field. He 
was one of the organizers and for many years an officer and active 
participant in the work of the Wisconsin Archeological Society, being 
at the time of his death one of its vice presidents. He was also for 
years a member of the State Historical Society. 

Mr. Hamilton died at the Presbyterian hospital at Chicago on 
June 15, after a short illness, his death being greatly regretted by 
a wide circle of friends. 

Charles E. Brown 


The most notable historical drive ever made in Wisconsin, prob- 
ably, has been that conducted under the inspiration of the Wisconsin 
War History Committee appointed by the Sl;\ to Council of Defense 
early in 1918; its function was the securing for permanent preserVA- 


Survey of Historical Activities 

tion of the current records of Wisconsin's part in the Great War. 
Although authorized by the State Council and enjoying its active 
sympathy the committee was composed of active members of the State 
Historical Society and its work was supported and directed by that 
organization. Its immediate direction was placed in the hands of a 
member of the Society's working staff (first Dr. John W. Oliver; 
after his enlistment Mr. A. O. Barton) who was detailed by the Su- 
perintendent for this purpose and given the title of Director of the 
War History Committee. Due to the enthusiastic labors of these 
two men, war history committees were organized in every county of 
Wisconsin and in all hundreds of workers were enrolled in the service 
of saving the records of the Badger State's participation in the 
Great War. The work of the county committees is still going on, 
but that of the state committee has concluded. We print below a 
portion of the final report upon the work, made by Mr. Barton, di- 
rector of the state committee and chairman also of the Dane County 
committee. Its perusal should afford gratification to every friend 
of the cause of patriotism and local history in Wisconsin. 

"The war history work may be said to be in a satisfactory condi- 
tion in the great majority of counties. While a number of counties 
have reported that they have nearly completed their records, none 
has entirely ceased work and the greater number are still some dis- 
tance from their goal. This is due largely to the fact that many of 
the state's troops have but recently returned or are still abroad. 

"It is gratifying to note that in most of the counties having the 
larger cities, such as Superior, Racine, Sheboygan, Fond du Lac, 
Kenosha, Green Bay, La Crosse, Janesville, Appleton, Eau Claire, 
Manitowoc, and Stevens Point, the work fell into capable and inter- 
ested hands. In all these counties excellent results have been obtained. 
Perhaps the larger counties with the best records are Sheboygan, 
Fond du Lac, Eau Claire, Outagamie, Racine, Kenosha, and Brown, 
and among the smaller Adams, Clark, Waukesha, Taylor, Dunn, 
Crawford, Waushara, and Green Lake. In the two largest counties, 
Milwaukee and Winnebago, the progress has been less, but in both 
these counties the War Mothers have come forward with substantial 
aid of much promise. A half dozen counties have little to show as yet. 
Among these are Juneau, Dodge, Iowa, Oconto, and Waupaca. 
Juneau and Iowa will probably receive good attention soon. Some 
county councils of defense made appropriations for the history work ; 
others gave neither funds nor encouragement. The correspondence 
files will give further light on the status of the individual counties. 

"In a number of counties war histories and albums are in course 
of publication, chiefly by outside concerns. Among such counties 
may be mentioned Brown, Columbia, Burnett, Dunn, Door, Iowa, 
Crawford, Polk, Rusk, St. Croix, Oneida, Marquette, Waushara, and 

The Society and the State 


Green Lake. It is also probable that histories will be written by local 
historians in the counties of Kenosha, Green, Racine, Lafayette, 
Trempealeau, and Ozaukee. The historians, acting or prospective, 
are : Brown — Chicago publishers ; Door — H. R. Holand, Ephraim ; 
Columbia — J. E. Jones, former editor, Portage; Marquette — C. H. 
Barry, editor, Montello ; Waushara and Green Lake — R. S. Starks, 
editor, Berlin; Crawford — Lyman Howe, editor, Prairie du Chien; 
Polk — Editor, Luck Enterprise; Rusk — D. W. Maloney, editor, 
Ladysmith; Burnett — E. Huth, editor, Grantsburg; Iowa — Gran- 
ville Trace, editor, Dodgeville; St. Croix — F. A.R. VanMeter, editor, 
New Richmond ; Dunn — M. C. Douglas, editor, Menomonie ; Kenosha 
— Miss Cathie McNamara, Kenosha ; Racine — R. W. Haight, Racine ; 
Green — C. H. Dietz, teacher, Monroe; Lafayette — P. H. Conley, 
Darlington; Trempealeau — Judge H. A. Anderson, Whitehall; 
Ozaukee — Rev. T. A. Boerner, Port Washington; Oneida — W. P. 
Colburn, principal, Rhinelander ; Outagamie — W. H. Kreiss, Apple- 
ton; Richland — W. G. Barry, editor, Richland Center. 

"Your retiring director visited fifty of the seventy-one counties 
and met the chairmen of a number of others. The counties not visited 
were chiefly those in the far northern part of the state or such as 
seemed so well organized as to need less attention. 

"Several hundred pictures have been received from a number of 
counties, including Washington, Sauk, Dane, Trempealeau, Milwau- 
kee, Jefferson, Dunn, Eau Claire, and Green; more are promised from 
other counties. Final reports from several state activities have been 
received, including the council of defense, fuel and food administra- 
tions, county agents, physicians, naval enlistments for the state, etc. 

"In a number of counties the War Mothers have been enlisted to 
collect the military biographies, letters, and pictures and are now at 
work in Dane, Milwaukee, Winnebago, Langlade, Jefferson, Polk, 
and perhaps other counties. 

"War History chairmen or those having the work in hand in the 
various counties, follow: * * * 

The Dane County History Committee, of which your director 
is chairman, has turned all its soldier cards, letters, and pictures 
over to the War Mothers, Mrs. J. R. Commons, chairman, who will 
complete this work for the county. Among other things the com- 
mittee has also received files of practically all county newspapers 
for the period of the war, a voluminous report from the County 
Council of Defense, and hundreds of reports from minor activities 
and organizations in Madison and throughout the county. 

Respectfully submitted) 

A. O. Barton, 
Director, Wisconsin War History Com- 
mittee and Chairman) Dane County War 
History Com mil tee." 


Survey of Historical Activities 


Theodore C. Blegen ("The Competition of the Northwestern 
States for Immigrants") has been for several years teacher of his- 
tory in the Riverside High School of Milwaukee. Two years ago 
Mr. Blegen spent the summer in the employ of the Wisconsin His- 
torical Society, the fruit of his effort being the exhaustive Report on 
the Public Archives which has recently been distributed to our 

Louise P. Kellogg ("The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848") is 
senior research member of the staff of the State Historical Society 
and a frequent contributor to its publications. 

James Bracklin ("A Tragedy of the Wisconsin Pinery") was for 
over thirty years superintendent of logging and driving for the 
Knapp-Stout Lumber Company of Menomonie. His narrative lays 
no claim to literary polish, yet we think it possesses in ample degree 
the two chief attributes of literature, simplicity and sincerity. 

R. G. Plumb, who contributes the Leonard Civil War letters, is 
a business man of Manitowoc. Mr. Plumb is an enthusiastic member 
of the Wisconsin Archeological Society and is considered the leading 
authority on the subject of Wisconsin lake harbors. He has written 
a number of articles and pamphlets on archeological subjects and is 
an old-time member and friend of the State Historical Society. 


A Little Flag Book compiled by Hosea W. Rood, patriotic in- 
structor for the Wisconsin G. A. R., has for its object to promote 
patriotism, which the author defines as "love of country in action," 
and to give information concerning flag customs and flag etiquette. 
The laws relating to the flag are compiled by Arthur F. Belitz, as- 
sistant revisor of the statutes. About half of this pamphlet is de- 
voted to the history of the two hundred battle flags of the Civil War. 
They were first placed in the capitol according to a law passed in 
1870, which in 1875 was revised to provide cases wherein to exhibit 
these trophies. In 1895 the battle flags were given into the custody 
of the Historical Society and removed with its effects in 1900 to the 
new building on the lower campus. The next year by order of the 
governor these flags were returned to the capitol, whence they were 
rescued during the fire of 1904 and again returned to the Historical 
Society's custody. There they remained until 1914, when during a 
Grand Encampment of the G. A. R. they were once more carried back 
to the capitol. With the opening in June, 1918 of Memorial Hall 

Some Wisconsin Public Documents 


in the capitol's north wing permanent cases were provided, and the 
old flags arranged in regimental order with proper indications of 
their history. The remainder of the pamphlet comprises the official 
uses and customs for the United States flag, its symbolism, and the 
proper modes of showing it respect, the times and methods for 
salutes, the days for its display, and the state laws passed to prevent 
its desecration. The book also describes the first state flag, adopted 
by the legislature in 1863 ; it was of dark blue silk with the arms of 
the state "painted or embroidered' 5 upon the obverse and those of the 
United States with the regimental name upon the reverse. In 1913 
the specifications were modified so that the state coat of arms mus't 
be "embroidered on each side with silk." The expense involved in 
embroidering the flag in this manner has rendered its use rare. The 
pamphlet closes with a plea for a more constant employment of the 
national flag in the homes, churches, civic buildings, and in the 
private room of each citizen of the commonwealth. 

In our March number we mentioned a pamphlet upon Americani- 
zation published by the State Council of Defense. The University 
of Wisconsin is the first university in the United States to establish 
a chair of Americanization. This was filled last fall by the appoint- 
ment of Don D. Lescohier, associate professor. Under the auspices 
of the Extension Division Professor Lescohier has issued a Prelimi- 
nary Bulletin outlining the plans of the department and the tenta- 
tives for action. He discusses the meaning of "Americanization" 
and disclaims such aims and methods as have been employed by Ger- 
many and other nations which have attempted forcibly to assimilate 
alien elements of their population. Our aim is not to require the 
foreigner to meet any rigid obligations of language or customs, but 
to produce a mutual understanding on the part of the alien, of 
what is best in American life ; on the part of our own people, of the 
alien's peculiar difficulties and the opportunities that should be 
afforded him. This requires the older Americans to lay aside their 
prejudices and indifference and to assist the newcomers to share the 
privileges and fit themselves for the responsibilities of American life. 
Americanization thus becomes a process of education in mutual un- 
derstanding. The leaders in this movement aim to utilize agencies 
already established, such as the public schools, the Y. M. C. A., the 
Y. W. C. A., community centers, social settlements) women's clubs, 
churches, etc. The function of the University is not to supplant 
other agencies but to supply for them advice, research, and the train- 
ing of leaders. For tin's purpose a training course for teachers of 
Americanization was held in Milwaukee February *25 to May 8. In 
Racine a naturalization course 1 was undertaken by four hundred 
eighty-two candidates for citizenship, concluded with a banquet and 


Survey of Historical Activities 

a civic pageant. The University summer session offered special 
courses in Americanization. A state-wide movement is being under- 
taken in cooperation with the United States bureau of naturalization 
to work with the judges and the communities in making naturaliza- 
tion an honorable and impressive ceremony, recognized by the entire 
community. The Extension Division of the University furnishes 
lectures, an information bureau, and correspondence courses in 
English and citizenship. May the movement so auspiciously begun 
in Wisconsin receive the recognition and support of the entire state. 

The League of Nations is at present probably the foremost sub- 
ject in the thoughts of the American people. The Wisconsin Library 
Bulletin for January furnishes a selected bibliography on this subject 
prepared by Graham H. Stuart, executive secretary of the Wiscon- 
sin branch of the League to Enforce Peace. For 1915 Mr. Stuart 
cites five books, for 1916 and 1917 eight each, and for 1918 twelve 
that discuss the fundamentals of such a league. If but one book may 
be chosen, he would select H. N. Brailsford's A League of Nations, 
which "treats the entire subject in a sane, broad, logical manner, 
shows a thorough knowledge of world politics, and covers practically 
all the problems which will face the diplomats at Versailles." For 
the department of debating and public instruction of University Ex- 
tension Mr. Stuart has prepared a schedule for debates upon the 
question: "Resolved, that a league of nations is practicable." He 
gives in brief form the arguments pro and con and references by 
which these positions may be supported. 

The report of the Wisconsin special legislative committee on 
reconstruction is an able document and has been prepared at the 
expense of much labor and research. The committee, consisting of 
Roy P. Wilcox, A. Kuckuk, and J. C. Hanson, filed their report with 
the state legislature, February 5, 1919. It is issued in a separate 
pamphlet. It begins with the words : "Bolshevism is a present 
menace," and defines the movement as essentially revolutionary, "an 
intense expression of the desire for reconstruction tied up to revolu- 
tionary formulae, and permeated with the spirit of protest." It is 
in America an alien thing and has back of it a great emotional force, 
which only sane and fair-minded reconstruction can check. Recon- 
struction must be based on the doctrine that men are brothers and it 
must apply Christian ethics to social and economic policy. The re- 
port then discusses cooperation in agriculture, improved methods of 
marketing, and suggests a Marketing' Commission responsible to the 
people. On the subject of labor it emphasizes the right to organiza- 
tion and collective bargaining, the needs of housing, of stimulating 

Some Wisconsin Public Documents 


public works, of a road-building program, of a minimum wage law for 
all workers, of a dismissal wage, and of increased educational oppor- 
tunity for the children of wage earners. It also recommends repre- 
sentation of labor on educational boards and on boards of directors 
of corporations, the study of social insurance, the rehabilitation of 
victims of industrial accidents, a basic eight hour day, one day's 
rest in seven, and additional provisions for workmen's compensation. 
Advanced provisions for education are recommended, a State Land 
Settlement Commission, and colonization in colonies under the care 
of such a commission, and a state land bank. With regard to tax- 
ation, suggestions are made to the Tax Commission concerning in- 
come and inheritance taxes. The final recommendations of this 
report concern development and control of state commissions, suf- 
frage for women, arbitration of legal disputes, and direct methods 
of amending the constitution. This report furnishes a working pro- 
gram for years to come and justifies Wisconsin's reputation as a 
progressive, forward-looking commonwealth. 

Three years ago the State Conservation Commission was created 
by the union of the Fish and Game, Forestry, and State Park depart- 
ments. The second biennial report of this commission furnishes much 
interesting information on the wild life and out-of-door possessions 
of our people. It states that 24,712 trappers' licenses were sold ; 
and the value of the pelts taken is estimated at $700,000 — probably 
as much as was ever realized in the palmiest days of the fur trade 
regime. Muskrats are almost trapped out and need a protective law. 
In 1903 an air-tight beaver law was passed and then there were but 
three colonies in the state ; now they have become plentiful enough to 
be almost a nuisance. Since the protection afforded to bears in 1917 
they have become very boisterous, and it is recommended that the 
law protecting them be repealed. Deer will soon be exterminated 
unless a one-buck law is passed. Several wild-life refuges have been 
provided in Rusk, Douglas, Barron, Washburn, Jackson, and Eau 
Claire counties. July 3, 1918 a migratory bird treaty was passed 
with Canada. In the state parks new drives have been made, several 
miles of trails laid out, and many trees set out. In the Peninsular 
Park of Door County 20,000 log feet have been cut by scientific 
selection. The forestry division maintains nurseries from which 
trees for beautifying school grounds are furnished at low rates. 

The commission began in March the publication of a small jour- 
nal called The Wisconsin Conservationist, whose purpose "is to 
promote within the state a friendly cooperation on the pari of the 
people in the carrying out of the duties which the legislature has laid 
upon the State Conservation Commission," 


Survey of Historical Activities 

"Arc American farms passing into the hands of tenants?" is a 
question seriously discussed by sociologists. In 1917 a committee of 
the American Sociological Society presented a plan for standardiza- 
tion of research in country life. Under this plan Professor C. J. 
Galpin and Emily F. Hoag made a survey of a typical Wisconsin 
community, the results of which are published under the title of 
Farm Tenancy, an Analysis of the Occupancy of 500 Farms. With- 
in a ten-year period 246 farms were occupied by their owners, 42 
were constantly leased, and 212 oscillated between owners and ten- 
ants. Other phases of the relations of tenants and owners are dis- 
cussed by the authors of this valuable and unusual pamphlet. 

The issuance of the biennial report of the Department of Agri- 
culture gives an occasion for just pride in the achievements of our 
people in this fundamental industry. Wisconsin leads the United 
States in organization, the department being placed on the same 
plane and in the same relation to the United States Department of 
Agriculture as the agricultural college and experiment station. Thus 
the distinct functions of education, experimentation, and control are 
coordinated and interrelated. One of the most valuable of the de- 
partment's activities concerns the protection and aid furnished to 
new settlers. Fifteen thousand seven hundred eighty-four home- 
seekers applied to the department, of whom from ten to fourteen per 
cent became residents of Wisconsin. These actual settlers were 
aided in land clearing and in securing supplies at low rates. One of 
the chief functions of the department is inspection by which means 
diseases of both plants and animals are corrected, cattle and hogs are 
tested, and weeds and seeds controlled. In connection with the 
United States Bureau of Crop Statistics the department issued in 
May Joint Bulletin No. 21, on agricultural statistics for 1918. 
From this we learn the gratifying effect of the stimulus applied to ag- 
riculture by war agencies. One hundred thousand acres have been 
added to the crop area; and notwithstanding the shortage of labor, 
the crops have been the largest in the history of the state. More 
bushels of grain have been grown than ever before, and the estimated 
total value is $377,000,000 as compared with $227,000,000 in 1916. 
For specific details concerning the several crops the reader should 
refer to the pamphlet. 

Some Wisconsin Public Documents 


Turning from the products of the land to the human product, 
the eighteenth biennial report of the Superintendent of Public In- 
struction furnishes interesting reading. War has emphasized the 
value of industrial and vocational training, in which Wisconsin is a 
leader. Educational reconstruction demands that the elementary 
schools shall serve the largest number, that health progress and 
needs shall be considered, that rural schools shall be improved and 
county schools of agriculture and domestic science established, that 
high schools shall be liberalized, and that continuation schools shall 
be organized for every industrial community. The report recog- 
nizes the need for scientific management and calls especial attention 
to the danger of a teacher famine since salaries have not kept pace 
with the increased cost of living. This means not only a dearth in 
the supply, but a lowering of the caliber of the candidates for teacher 
training. Wisconsin cannot afford to curtail in any way its educa- 
tional agencies. 

In this connection should be read and pondered the report of the 
special visiting committee to our charitable and penal institutions. 
Most of these are overcrowded and need repairs and enlargement. 
While the schools are considering the problem of the exceptional 
child, the state makes very inadequate provision for its feeble-minded, 
whose numbers are increasing with discouraging rapidity. Out of 
the estimated thirteen thousand that require special care, there arc 
facilities for but twelve hundred. Wisconsin falls behind her sis- 
ter states in handling this difficult problem, the ultimate cause of so 
much crime, poverty, and suffering. 

The State Board of Health issues a pamphlet for general distri- 
bution entitled Keeping Fit. This demands muscular strength, en- 
durance, energy, will power, courage, and self-control. The army 
records revealed four great handicaps : defective eyesight, teeth, and 
feet, and venereal disease. This pamphlet proposes corrective 
measures. With regard to eyesight certain original structural de- 
fects cannot be cured but may be corrected by properly fitted 
glasses; other defects can be aided by glasses that train the eve back 
to the normal, or by a slight operation performed by a competent 
specialist. Teeth are harborers of disease germs and the gateway to 
digestive processes. Much care should be given to brushing and 
cleaning them, with frequent recourse to the dentist for examination. 
Fallen arch or flat-foot may be prevented; directions are given for 
line care of shoes. In former wars venereal disease killed more than 
bullets. With increased knowledge of the laws of health, this dang< 
to American youth may be eliminated. The pamphlel closes with 
practical advice on exercise, sleep, fresh air, food, and cleanliness, 
which will insure keeping fit. 


Survey of Historical Activities 

The aftermath of the Great War brings a bulletin from the exten- 
sion service of the College of Agriculture entitled Wisconsin Wins. 
Teamwork was responsible for the state's remarkable record, in- 
creasing its supply of bread cereals sixty per cent, sugar beets 
thirty per cent, and meat twenty per cent. In view of the shortage 
of labor this is an enviable record and is due to the cordial coopera- 
tion of federal, state, and county agencies under the council of 
defense organization. The aims of the campaign were to produce 
more essential vegetable foodstuff, to increase the supply of fats 
and animal food by two means. First, by making each acre produce 
more; second, by bringing more acres under cultivation. The first 
was accomplished by better seeds, soil management, and weed eradi- 
cation; the second by drainage, clearing, and the control of weeds 
and pests. Pig and poultry clubs were organized, war gardens 
promoted, the potato problem solved, the sweets shortage relieved. 
A silo drive was inaugurated which resulted in ten thousand addi- 
tional silos in war time. Threshers by care saved two hundred thou- 
sand bushels of bread grains. Publicity methods increased produc- 
tion. Boys' and girls' clubs with 40,000 members are estimated to 
have saved nearly $750,000 worth of food products. The conserva- 
tion of the women in both food and clothing deserves the highest 
commendation and had a great share in putting Wisconsin "over the 
top" and making food win the war. 

The State Council of Defense publishes a Report of its organiza- 
tion and activities from the date of its creation (the first in the 
Union) April 12, 1917 to the date of its dissolution June 30, 1919. 
The authors of this report disclaim any attempt to present either 
a history of the war at home or a complete record of their organiza- 
tion. They simply enumerate some of the lines along which the 
council guided the enthusiasm of the people in their desire for humble 
service and willing sacrifice and preserve for future history an out- 
line of the council's work. The various and varied activities of this 
especial war agency for the "home army" are so fresh in the minds 
of our people that an enumeration here is unnecessary. A consulta- 
tion of the report will convince the most skeptical of the necessity of 
this organization for practical service. 

The University of Wisconsin celebrated a post-war Commence- 
ment, and on June 24, the afternoon of Alumni day, dedicated the 
newly completed Lincoln Terrace; at this service a fitting tribute 
was also paid to the men in service from the University who had 
returned to share in the exercises. For this occasion a considerable 
booklet was prepared containing much material concerning 
Lincoln and an honor roll of the "gold star" University men, who 
gave their lives during the Great War for the sake of liberty. During 

The Wider Field 


the exercises an impressive pageant was formed by young women 
students, each bearing a gold star surrounded by a wreath; these 
they heaped at the foot of the Lincoln statue as the Dean of the 
college of liberal arts called a name for each star so placed. At the 
same time the great service flag with its four thousand stars, one hun- 
dred twenty-five of which are gold, slowly unrolled across the facade 
of University Hall. The booklet containing this program also pre- 
sents the "Lincoln Ode," by Professor Leonard of the University ; 
an article on "Lincoln in Wisconsin" ; the history of the Lincoln 
monument on the campus ; and other relevant material. 


The twelfth annual meeting of the Mississippi Valley Historical 
Association was held at St. Louis, May 8-10, 1919. Among the 
papers scheduled of more particular interest to Wisconsin readers 
were: "Henry Hastings Sibley and the Minnesota Frontier," by 
W. P. Shortridge of St. Louis ; "Steamboating on the Upper Missis- 
sippi after the Civil War," by L. B. Shippee of Minneapolis ; "Jeffer- 
son Davis and Wisconsin," by M. M. Quaife of Madison ; and "The 
Jesuit in the Mississippi Valley," by Laurence Kenny, S. J. of St. 
Louis. At the business session of the association M. M. Quaife was 
elected president for the coming year and Greencastle, Indiana, was 
chosen for the annual meeting place of 1920. 

Several interesting articles are found in the March Indiana 
Magazine of History. Elmore Barce supplies a valuable account of 
"The Old Chicago Trail and the Old Chicago Road." The conclud- 
ing section of Ernest Stewart's history of the Populist party in 
Indiana is given in this number. Another article worthy of mention 
is an account of the militia of the United States from 1816 to 1860, 
by Paul T. Smith. 

A ninety-page article on "The Coming of the English to Indiana 
in 1817 and their Neighbors" comprises the greater portion of the 
June issue of this journal. A second but much shorter paper tells of 
the work of the American Marines on the battle-fields of France. 

The March Mississippi Valley Historical Review contains a do- 
tailed narrative of the efforts of Asa Whitney to procure the build- 
ing of a railway from Lake Michigan to the Pacific in the years 
1845-50, which should prove of particular interest to Wisconsin 
readers. Two other articles having direct application to this section 
are Martha Edwards' "Religious Forces in the I ] nit ed St a I cs, 1815- 
1830," and E. M. Coulter's "Commercial Intercourse with I he Con 
federacy in the Mississippi Valley, 1861-65." 


Survey of Historical Activities 

The April issue of the Michigan History Magazine contain; 
several interesting articles. The longest is a biographical accoun 
of Dan H. Ball, Marquette's pioneer lawyer. The story of "Thi 
Council Pine: A Legend," is told by Charles E. Belknap. Willian 
L. Jenks writes of "Legislation by Governor and Judges" in thi 
territorial period ; while Professor Larzelere gives the history of Mt 
Pleasant State Normal School. 

The Washington Historical Quarterly for April brings news o 
the acquisition by the University of Washington of the Bagley Col 
lection of Pacific Northwest History. Mr. Bagley, a native o: 
Illinois, removed in boyhood to Oregon in 1852, and in 1860 t( 
Seattle. A printer by trade, he early began collecting Pacific North 
west newspaper files ; and these constitute perhaps the chief portior 
of his collection. So extensive are they that they cover the entire his- 
tory of Washington Territory and State, and exceed in volume anc 
importance the combined newspaper resources of all the publk 
libraries of Washington. Books, pamphlets, and manuscripts mak( 
up the remainder of the collection. The prospect now assured of its 
permanent preservation in so appropriate a place as the Universit) 
of Washington library should afford gratification to all who are in- 
terested in the historical records of the great Northwest. 

The issue of the Minnesota History Bulletin for November, 191£ 
appeared in April. 1919. Its contents are principally given over tc 
the reprinting from the St. Peter Minnesota Free Press of 1858 ol 
a series of sketches of Dakota Indians written by Stephen R. Riggs. 
who was long a missionary among them. 

From a photograph supplied by Theodore Beaulieu 

VOL. Ill, NO. 2 DECEMBER, 1919 



SIN. Edited by MILO M. 
QUAIFE, Superintendent 



A Forgotten Trail. James H. McManus 139 

The Kensington Rune Stone H.R. Holand 153 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin W. A. Titus 184 

The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848 

Louise Phelps Kellogg 189 

Observations of a Contract Surgeon 

William F. Whyte 209 

The Question Box: 

Negro Suffrage and Woman's Rights in the 
Convention of 1846; Winnebago Battle Near 
Wyocena ; Wisconsin and Nullification; Indian 
Folklore of Wisconsin; Indian Names for a 
Farm; Wisconsin as a Playground; The Sioux 
War of 1862; Early Missions on Menominee 
River; Early Trails and Highways of Wisconsin; 

Early History of West Point 227 

Historical Fragments: 

A Woman "Y" Worker's Experiences; The Panic 
at Washington after the Firing on Fort Sumter; 
Red Tape at Washington in the Good Old Days . . 241 
Communications : 

Some Corrections; Early Racine and Judge 
Pryor; More Light on Colonel Utley's Contest 
with Judge Robertson ; General Grant at Platte- 

ville; The Draper Manuscripts 249 

Survey of Historical Activities: 

The Society and the State ; The Wider Field 255 

The Society as a body is not responsible for statements or opinions advanced 
in the following pages by contributors. 



James H. McManus 

In the year 1842 the Reverend Alfred Brunson was ap- 
pointed Sub-Indian Agent for the Bad River band of Chip-" 
pewa Indians of Lake Superior, with a station at La Pointe 
on Madeline Island. Mr. Brunson at the time of his appoint- 
ment was living at Prairie du Chien. The customary route 
of travel to his new station was by water up the Wisconsin 
River to the portage, across the portage into the Pox River, 
down that stream and Green Bay to Lake Michigan, down 
that lake to Sault Ste. Marie, then up Lake Superior to La 
Pointe. This was a long and hazardous journey. Some 
English miners in the southwestern part of the state, wishing 
to go to the copper mines on Lake Superior, on hearing of 
Mr. Brunson's appointment proposed to him that they join 
forces, secure the necessary teams, horses, oxen, and wagons, 
and make the trip overland. There was then no road above 
Prairie du Chien, but fur traders at that place assured Mr. 
Brunson that the trip could be made with no great hardship. 
On this advice the miners' proposition was accepted and the 
trip made. The trail made by this first wagon train from the 
southern part of the state to the shore of Lake Superior is the 
subject of this sketch. It is made in the hope that these 
suggestions may bring to light additional information con- 
cerning this route. 

Mr. Brunson in his book, W estern Pioneers, gives a brief 
sketch of this pathfinding journey; in this he mentions a few 
points where we can say the "trail was here" ; but all the rest is 
conjecture. Mr. Brunson was intensely interested in the then 
new science of geology and its bearings on the then accepted 
tenets of the Christian religion. He considered it his duty to 

Map prepared by Mary S. Foster of the State Historical Library 

A Forgotten Trail 


defend the orthodox faith against the statements of certain 
persons; he wrote this sketch of his journey rather to that end 
than to preserve a record of his own wonderful achievement 
in pioneering and trail blazing. Thus we find him using the 
natural objects seen on the way, such as rocks, soils, hills, and 
lakes, as illustrations and arguments in proof of the errors of 
his opponents, rather than as scenes for the pleasure, enter- 
tainment, and profit of his readers. 

At the beginning of his sketch Mr. Brunson says, "We 
proceeded to the northern end of the prairie, then climbed 
the bluff to the height of land and kept on the ridge between 
the waters that flow into the Mississippi on the west, and 
those flowing into the Wisconsin on the east, to a point near 
the present site of the village of Tomah." I am not familiar 
with this section of the state 1 and can make no conjecture as to 
the location of this part of the trail. The next point Mr. 
Brunson mentions is a place on the Black River about five 
or six miles above the present city of Black River Falls; from 
this place the party moved down the river to the falls. Here 
it is quite certain that he and his comrades followed the line 
of the present highway or the lumberman's "tote road" which 
has been used from the earliest days to the present time. Mr. 
Brunson says that his party made a mistake in going so far up 
the Black River because they started east of this place at the 
point near Tomah, which was reached in making around the 
sources of the La Crosse River. Here then we must look for 

1 The old mail route from Prairie du Chien to Tomah and Black River Falls, 
called the Black River Falls road, went north out of Prairie du Chien on the old 
road marked on Lee's and Lyon's survey maps. At "farm lot No. 3" four and 
a half miles from the village, as marked on the maps, it reached Fisher's or Mill 
Coulee. Thence the road ran up that coulee onto a ridge where the present 
state road, route numher nineteen, runs. It followed that route through Eastman, 
Seneca, Mount Sterling, Rising Sun (where the mail carriers changed horses) to 
Viroqua, estimated to he a distance of fifty-nine miles. From Viroqua the road 
is said to have gone ahout four miles east of Cashton, thence northeast to Tomah. 
This information is furnished us by the Reverend M. E. Fraser, pastor of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church at Prairie du Chien, who is much interested in our 
state history and gleaned the above facts from men who knew the early mail 
carriers. — Ed. 


James H. McManus 

the trail on the high plateau which extends far to the north 
covered with scant jack pine and pin oak, patches of meadow 
with nutritious grasses fed by numerous clear creeks flowing 
from sources in cold spring marshes and surrounded by the 
ever present cliffs or bluffs — -the remains of the ancient con- 
tinent. Miss Ella, daughter of Mr. Brunson, in the Wiscon- 
sin Magazine or History for December, 1918, says of her 
father that "in after years he rode in the passenger trains of 
the Milwaukee Railroad through the tunnel west of Camp 
Douglas under the trail he made in 1843." I can hardly 
think that the party with its teams and wagons ascended this 
ridge, but rather that Mr. Brunson must have gone there for 
observation, which is a very reasonable conjecture. He may 
have used for that purpose many of these bluffs and ridges 
which are striking features of this plateau. We can with 
reason suppose that the party rested for a night at the foot of 
this bluff and in the morning took a course northeast to about 
the line of the Omaha Railroad and followed that line nearly 
north to the point where the old line swings west to cross the 
Black River just above the falls. At this point Brunson's 
party must have held north on the line of what is known as 
the "cut-off," or new line, leaving the falls to the west in order 
to reach the point five miles above. Upon reaching the falls 
the party found a company of Mormons operating a sawmill, 
getting out lumber for their colony at Nauvoo, Illinois. This 
was the white man's outpost on the Black River at that time. 

These Mormon lumbermen ferried the party across the 
river and requested Mr. Brunson to preach for them. That 
sermon was the first sermon ever preached by other than a 
Mormon elder in the Black River Valley. The course of the 
party from the falls probably lay to the northwest along the 
present line of railroad to the village of Merrillan. This is 
determined by the fact that to the west lay a line of cliffs and 
ridges that would have prevented swinging in that direction. 
On the other side, about ten miles above the falls, the river 

A Forgotten Trail 


emerges from what at that time was the southern border of 
the Wisconsin forest tract in which it has its source and 
through which it flows to the head of what is known as the 
Mormon Riffles, a two-mile reach of white water, confined 
within high walls of the oldest rocks, just below the present 
village of Hatfield, now the site of a great power plant. It 
must have been at this place that the Mormons cut their logs 
and floated them down to their mill at the falls; that act is 
commemorated and their sect perpetuated by the name given 
to this long stretch of swift water. The border of the forest 
continues west for about ten miles along the north side of a 
line of high bluffs to about the site of the present village of 
Merrillan. The men at the falls would have informed Brun- 
son of this barrier due north ; and he would have set his course 
for the pass at Merrillan where the line of bluffs from the 
east nearly meets the ridges from the south. This gap could 
be seen from a great distance and must have guided the party 
to the pass. At Merrillan the border of the forest turned 
sharply to the north and continued in that direction, deviating 
just enough from it to give grace and beauty to the contour 
far up the Chippewa River until, as we shall see, it swung to 
the west on the upper reaches of that stream and crossed the 
Red Cedar to join the western section of the north woods. 

The ever present, impressive, and determining feature of 
the experiences of the travelers from the point at Merrillan 
must have been the forest, along the western border of which 
the trail must have lain. Every stream, large or small, came 
from the forest like a human life out of the vast unknown. 
A trail in the forest at this point would have been impossible 
for any wagon party at that time ; while anywhere in the great 
sand plain to the west, with short detours around small groves 
of jack pine and pin oak, one could have traveled with c ase, 
scarcely using an ax to clear the way. Thus the constant, 
unerring guide that directed the party to the course a little 
west of north was the forest. It still stands in its dense and 


James H. M cM anus 

thrifty second growths, throwing a mantle of charity over the 
sin of man in destroying "the forest primeval" that Brunson's 
party beheld in its sublime beauty and glory. 

From Merrillan the trail must have followed the line of 
the railroad to a point near Augusta or Fall Creek, where it 
held to the north to the crossing of the Eau Claire River, 
which is the next point mentioned by Mr. Brunson. This 
crossing was made by building a raft of logs for whatever the 
party wished to keep dry, then by swimming the cattle and 
horses and by dragging the wagons across. The site of this 
crossing must have been where the stream emerges from the 
forest some miles east of the present Eau Claire City, for 
Mr. Brunson says that later "from the high hills east of the 
Chippewa we saw the new barn of Mr. Warren, a fur trader, 
located at the falls of that stream," to which point they 
directed their course, crossing the Chippewa River on their 
way. Mr. Brunson mentions his surprise at rinding in the 
home of Mr. Warren a fine library of the best books of the 
time. 2 

From the Warren post the course of the party would 
have been directed by Mr. Warren. His information would 
have included the fact that the line of the forest crossed the 
Chippewa River a few miles above and ran nearly due west, 
and that the angle where it turned again to the north was to be 
found to the northwest, near the present site of the village of 
Bloomer. The two striking features of the landscape through 
which this early party passed — forest and plain — still exist; 
and it is on the eastern side of the sand plain that we must 
look for the trail, for the forbidding forest crowds too far 

2 William Whipple Warren was the descendant of New Englanders who 
came over in the Mayflower. His mother was a French-Chippewa halfbreed, 
and he was born at the La Pointe village on Madeline Island. He was edu- 
cated in New York under the care of his paternal grandfather and later became 
the historian of his mother's race. For a complete biographical sketch see Minn. 
Hist. Colls., V, 9-20. The mention of a large private library in the wilderness 
brings to mind the fact that the Knapp family, who afterwards located in this 
vicinity, were great lovers of books and collected a notable library of good 
books. — Ed. 

A Forgotten Trail 


to the west to allow a direct line to the destination on Lake 

The first point mentioned in the Brunson narrative north 
of the falls of the Chippewa is the pipestone quarry in Barron 
County. This claylike substance, soft when it is taken from 
its native beds, may be formed into any shape with a common 
knife, but on longer exposure to the air soon becomes hard 
and resistant. It is found at the east end of a large bluff or 
mound about six miles southeast of the city of Rice Lake. 
The present writer, though never at the quarry, has many 
times been past the place, which was about three miles from 
the old Chippewa Falls, Sumner, and Rice Lake road. The 
first time I saw the place was in the fall of 1879, the bluff 
looming high with rugged grandeur. But between the road 
and the bluff was that almost impenetrable, nameless some- 
thing men called a "slashing." That expanse of desolation, 
the product of the so-called lumber barons, in other words the 
"Huns" of the north woods, extended about two miles beyond 
and all around the bluff. Beyond this, the forest in all its 
primitive majesty, beauty, and glory lay, just as Brunson and 
his party must have found its border at their feet when in 1843 
they stood where I did in 1879. The place is just above one 
of the headsprings of the Pokegama Creek, at the angle 
where the line of the forest turns sharply to the west and 
continues in that direction across the Red Cedar River, cutting 
off the sand plain to the north and joining the lobe of the 
forest west of that stream, whose eastern border trends south- 
west to the Mississippi River in Pepin County and forms 
the western boundary of the sand plain. 

A new problem now confronted the party. They were 
to leave the open plain and enter the forest; for in this latitude 
there is no break in the forest from the Michigan state line 
on the east to that of Minnesota on the west. At this point, 
however, the passage through the forest was scarcely more 
difficult than that over the plain. I have driven over the 


James H. McManus 

ridges in that same forest with a horse and buggy, with only 
occasionally the use of an ax to clear the way. So, in that open 
forest, to the bluff and the pipestone quarry, a distance of 
three miles, the party could have passed in an hour. The rays 
of the sun were shut out even at noonday by the intertwining 
branches and the leaves overhead; while below, the ground 
was covered with a carpet of pine needles and dry brown 
leaves, accumulations of the long-past years. 

While our party rests at the quarry we will retrace our 
steps to a point near the present village of Cartwright, in 
order to suggest that the Brunson party was following a 
more or less well-defined trail made by Indians, hunters, 
trappers, and fur traders, from any of whom information may 
have been received regarding the way. In fact the frequent 
recurrence of earthworks or tumuli found at intervals in all 
this region suggests that we are but tracing one of the most 
ancient highways of travel on this continent, Brunson and his 
party being but part of the great throng of the ages that had 
passed this way. In 1879 there were two roads from Cart- 
wright leading to Rice Lake, then the white man's northern 
outpost in this region and his first station in the invasion of 
the forest from the south. One of these ran to the northwest, 
passing through the village of Chetek; the other ran north, 
keeping to the east of the large lake system north of Chetek 
village. These lakes lie in the form of a large letter U with 
the open end to the north and with their connecting water- 
ways stretch across eighteen miles from point to point. This 
lake system has to be taken into account in locating the trail. 
Brunson seems to have taken the eastern trail, doubtless choos- 
ing it because he was already too far west for his destination. 
If he did not go this way it is hard to see how he could have 
reached the pipestone quarry, as by the other route he would 
have passed six miles west and some distance north of the 
quarry, at the head of the lakes. Another consideration is the 
fact that if he had gone the western route he would have been 

A Forgotten Trail 


pushed up to the outlet of Lake Chetek by a large swamp on 
the east side of the stream flowing out of the lake where the 
village is now located. Had Brunson been at this point he 
could not have failed to note the unusual number of mounds 
all along the southern and western sides of the lakes, those on 
the eastern side of the outlet forming a veritable city covering 
one hundred acres of ground, with almost regular streets. 
So it appeared when I saw it for the first time in 1879. The 
hands of vandals have swept the ancient city of mounds away, 
but the ground of the fields is covered with beautifully marked 
pieces of broken pottery, while many other relics of the past 
are still to be found. For these reasons we think that our 
party passed to the east of Lake Chetek, where the land is high 
and abounds in deep ravines which must have held the party 
too far away for them to have seen the lakes. However, at 
the old village of Sumner, six miles above the northern end 
of the lakes, the line of the forest would have pushed them out 
onto the high sand plain on the bank of Pokegama Creek ; so 
that here we may say they stood and looked down on the 
beautiful lake and creek in the valley; though when we saw 
it the lake was much enlarged by reason of the dam at the 
mill. From here the trail must have run due north to the 
pipestone quarry. 

From the quarry the course lay almost due north some 
ten miles to where Brunson says they crossed the Red Cedar 
River just below a chain of lakes. The first of these was 
Red Cedar Lake, out of which the river flows in a broad 
stream through a wide, picturesque valley covered with great 
pines seven to eight feet in diameter. Many of the largest of 
these stand on mounds, several of which are clustered around 
the outlet. These mounds may have escaped the notice of 
Bninson because of the dense forest covering them: or he 
may have crossed the river a little below the outlet where the 
present highway passes. 


James H. McManus 

Lac Court Oreilles, the next point mentioned in the 
narrative, lies a little east of north from the outlet of Red 
Cedar Lake. It seems reasonable to think that the party 
was following the fur traders' trail, and if so, such a trail 
would follow the shortest line to the open sand plain north of 
the forest, a distance of about twenty-five miles due north. 
This route would bring the party to the lower end of Long 
Lake in Washburn County, along the southeastern bank of 
which it would then lie for some nine miles. Long Lake is in 
fact, or would be if no obstruction were in the west fork of the 
Red Cedar River where it flows out of the lower end of the 
lake, only a chain of small lakes, some of which are very deep 
and contain native whitefish. An old flood dam of the 
lumbermen still holds the water up to the level of the sluiceway 
floor, flooding all the marshes in the valley and making one 
continuous lake. Before the white man came with his dam, 
the beavers doubtless maintained a dam of equal height; so 
Brunson may have seen the lake beautiful. In going up the 
shore of the lake to the head, the party passed through the 
northern border of one of the most beautiful lake regions in 
Wisconsin. It covers about two townships of land. The 
lakes for the most part are small, but the land is a high sand 
and gravel plain. The water in the lakes is clear as crystal, 
and they have clean sandy beaches. The slopes of their high 
banks on the south and west sides are covered with a vigorous 
growth of birch, maple, oak, linden, and pine ; the other sides 
have few trees but are covered with heavy growths of grasses 
down to the almost white sand and gravel shore line. Between 
the lakes, at the time of the visit of our party, dense groves 
of Norway pine were scattered over the plain. Although 
Long Lake now boasts a fine modern hotel and is a famous 
summer resort, few of the people who visit this region escape 
the lure of the charms of this wonderful playground. Here, 
too, must have been a hunter's paradise. Even today the 
traveler in the summer can see herds of deer in these plains 

A Forgotten Trail 


feeding in peace and security on the nutritious blue grass of 
the upland; in the autumn and winter the same herds are 
found in the borders of the forest browsing upon the tender 
bark of the young maples, lindens, and red cherries. Part- 
ridges were found in every copse; waterfowl covered all the 
lakes and streams. Fur bearing animals abounded, and 
beaver were found on every stream. On the highland today 
far away from any stream and in the valleys just below grass 
meadows are still found the remnants of their dams, showing 
that in the past there were living streams of water where 
fertile fields lie today. 

From the head of Long Lake to Lac Court Oreilles the 
trail lay in a northeast direction over the sand plain with its 
lakes, streams, marshes, and groves of Norway pine. The 
narrative states that at Court Oreilles a messenger met the 
party, who urged Mr. Brunson to hasten to La Pointe with all 
speed, as officers from Washington were expected to arrive 
and would require his presence. So with two Indians in a 
canoe he took his way across lakes, through many narrow 
water courses, over portages, along creeks and rivers, until he 
reached the upper stretches of the Bad River near the site of 
the present village of Morse; then down that river through 
the Penokee Gap with its mad white waters on the rapids and 
madder, whiter, and wilder waters at the foot of its many 
falls, the scene approaching mountain grandeur with its 
broken crags and towering cliff s covered with wide-spreading 
hemlocks, pines, spruces, and balsams. As Brunson saw it, 
no destroyer's ax had been laid at the root of any tree of the 
primitive forest that stood in its grandeur on the tops of the 
cliffs and in all the valleys. No canoe could live in that madly 
rushing water, so the passage of the gap was made by portag- 
ing for some miles to a point at the foot of the high falls below 
the present city of Mellen, whence one might float on nearly 
smooth water to Lake Superior where the passage led up the 
lake to La Pointe. 


James H. McManus 

The disappointing part of the narrative is that Mr. 
Brunson leaves the men of his party with their stock and 
wagons at Lac Court Oreilles. They must in time have 
reached Lake Superior, for at the outset of the narrative he 
says that "the wagons created great excitement among the 
Indians of the lake, they being the first ever to arrive among 
them." We can only conjecture the route over which they 
passed. 3 On a geological map of Northern Wisconsin, pub- 
lished in 1872, is marked a state road running from Ashland 
near to the southwest corner of Ashland County. The other 
end of this road is not marked ; but we know that it did run on 
to the southwest to Lac Court Oreilles and thence to St. Croix 

Did Branson's party pass on that route north from Lac 
Court Oreilles and mark the way? If they did, the trail lay on 
the high open ridges along the east side of the Namakagon 
River, around its sources, and to the south and west of the 
sources of the White River and Fish Creek, crossing the 
latter stream some miles above Chequamegon Bay. On many 
hunting and fishing trips I have tramped over these ridges 
and across these valleys in the open forest before the destroy- 
ing ax had done its work and know how few obstructions 
would have been met. At one time on the ridges to the west of 
Fish Creek, to which stream I with a single companion was 
making my way, we came upon this old state road, then 
abandoned, with its ruts cut deep in the tenacious clay soil, 
exposing the roots of the trees. There was no sign of ax or 
saw where a way had been cut ; but the track wound in and 
out among and around the stately trees. Here and there 
deep gashes were made in the sides of trees where the hubs of 

8 From Henry Rush, Reserve, Wisconsin, we obtain (June, 1919) the infor- 
mation that the land route from Lac Court Oreilles to Chequamegon in the early 
period ran from Reserve eastward to the post on the Chippewa River; thence in 
a northwesterly direction to the site of the modern Glidden, in Ashland County; 
thence northerly to Mellen, and on in a general northerly direction to Chequame- 
gon Bay. — Ed. 

A Forgotten Trail 


the wagons in passing had worn away the wood during many 

As we followed the old trail I thought of all that had 
passed that way of merchandise, of tokens of exchange and 
measure of man's wealth, of high state officials and lowly 
folk, of stage coaches bearing messages of business, friend- 
ship, hatred, love, and sorrow ; for this was once the only line 
of connection between the region of the Mississippi and the 
region of the lake. Here had passed age in its weakness, 
young manhood in its strength, and beauty in its charm ; now 
all was unknown and forgotten. The road, finally leaving 
the ridge, swung to the right down a long, crooked, and 
narrow valley, crossing many times a stream of crystal-clear 
water, out into the wide valley of Fish Creek to the bank of 
that stream, down a steep pitch to the end of an old, nearly 
decayed bridge, the center supports of which with the center 
spans were gone, leaving one end of the land spans resting on 
the rude log supports, while the other ends rested in the water. 
Over this old bridge in the days of its strength had been 
carried through the eventful years of the past the white man's 
treasures and the red man's despairs. 

I sat myself down on the bridge's crumbling supports 
upon its west side, and asked, Did Brunson's party pass this 
way? Were their wagons the first to break the silence of this 
ancient forest with the noise of modern commerce? Did they 
ford the stream here and pause to let the weary, patient oxen 
slake their thirst with draughts of the cool water and then 
pass on along the highland bordering the vast swamp at the 
head of the bay to the present site of the city of Ashland, 
thence to the high ground nearest to La Pointe? Was it 
this way they went? Or did they follow the fairly open way 
with its deep-cut valleys over the western shoulder of the 
Penokee hills, on the line of the Omaha Railroad to Ashland ? 
Or did they go north to the foothills of the great northern 
divide and then east along its southern slopes, crossing the 


James H. McManus 

Bad River just above where it enters the gap, and so on east 
to the line of the present highway over the ridge to the site 
of the city of Mellen, thence down the divide between the 
streams flowing into the Bad River on the east and those 
flowing into the White River on the west to the present Indian 
village of Odanah, where were the Indian fields of corn and 
vegetables in those old days? Who knows where lay the 
forgotten trail? Or do any care? 





One of the most interesting questions that has appeared 
in the historical field in many years is the one popularly known 
as the Kensington Rune Stone. It is now twenty-one years 
since it first came to light and during the first ten it lay still- 
born and utterly discredited as a crude forgery. Since then, 
however, it has not only come to life but has survived numer- 
ous attacks by learned critics, until it now is a subject of 
debate by experts of two continents. 

The object of this review is to present the latest phases of 
the discussion concerning the rune stone to the readers of the 
Wisconsin Magazine of History, but I am in a quandary 
as to where I should begin. Some of our readers are quite 
familiar with the various stages of the controversy but I 
understand that the greater number have merely heard its 
name. In view of this, perhaps a very brief introduction of 
the subject will be desirable. 

The Kensington Rune Stone is a slab of graywacke about 
thirty inches long, seventeen inches wide, and seven inches 
thick. It weighs about two hundred and thirty pounds. 
Three-fifths of the length of its face is covered by an inscrip- 
tion in very neat runic characters. This inscription is con- 
tinued for a similar distance on one of its sides. The unin- 
scribed two-fifths of its length was evidently intended to be 
planted in the ground. 

The stone was found by a farmer by the name of Olaf 
Ohman, who lives about three or four miles northeast of 
Kensington, a station on the Minneapolis, St. Paul and 
Sault Ste. Marie Railway, in the west central part of Minne- 


H. R. Holand 

sota, He was grubbing stumps on his land which consists i 
part of a rolling elevation surrounded by a marsh. I 
grubbing out a poplar tree, about eight to ten inches i 
diameter, he found the stone on this elevation just beneat 
the surface of the ground, lying with the inscribed face dowr 
ward, closely embraced by the roots of the tree. 

The find was soon brought to the attention of a number c 
learned men of the time. Strangely enough, the decipherin 
of the inscription seemed to present great difficulties to thes 
men, who were unable to read a large portion of it. The 
made out, however, that the inscription mentioned Vinland- 
the name which Leif Ericson in the year 1000 bestowed upo 
a certain portion of the Atlantic coast of America. As th 
language employed, or as much of it as was made out, wa 
plainly not that of Leif Ericson's tongue, the inscription wa 
quickly pronounced a clumsy forgery. The stone wa 
returned to Mr. Ohman, therefore, who made of it a suitabl 
doorstep to his granary. 

Nine years later I chanced to be in that vicinity in searc 
of material for my history of the Norwegian settlements i 
America. The old runic hoax was recalled to me ; and as I f o 
years had been interested in the study of runes, I obtainei 
the stone from Mr. Ohman as an interesting souvenir. 

When I returned home and deciphered the inscription m; 
amusement changed to amazement for I decided that it wa 
not a clumsy forgery dealing with Leif Ericson's discover 
of America in the year 1000, but that it contained a dramati 
recital of an expedition into the middle of the continent in th 
year 1362! The language and runes of Leif Ericson's tim« 
could easily have been imitated as we have a multitude o: 
patterns of both; but the date 1362 is a peculiarly difficult one 
not only linguistically and runologically, but also historically 
What an unheard of date in which to locate Norsemen ii 
America! This forger, if he was one, was evidently a mos 
courageous man. The following is a copy of the inscriptioi 
with interlinear transliteration : 

«tW to J» ek AVM 

*This character has suffered so much from weathering as to be illegible, 
t The runic character for e in this word was inadvertently omitted In mak- 
ing this copy. 



156 H. R. Holand 

I translate as follows, putting into parentheses words 
which the rune master seems to have omitted : 

Eight Goths 1 and twenty-two Norsemen on (an) exploration-journey 
from Vinland through the western regions. We had camp by two sker- 
ries one day's journey north from this stone. We were (out) and fished 
one day. When we came home (we) found ten men, red with blood and 
dead. Ave Maria! Save (us) from evil! 

(We) have ten of our party by the sea to look after (or for) our 
vessels 14 day journey from this island. Year 1362. 

At first sight the truth of this inscription seems most 
improbable. That a band of adventurers should have pene- 
trated to the very heart of the continent one hundred and 
thirty years before America was discovered by Columbus 
seems so incredible that almost everyone who hears of it is 
prompted to ask, "Can this be possible?" Yet this objection 
so generally urged is really very superficial. We have many 
other journeys on record, of greater extent and more hazard- 
ous, which we know to have been performed. For instance, 
Ferdinand de Soto in 1542 pushed one thousand five hundred 
miles into the primeval forest of America. Jean Nicolet 
without a single white companion in 1634 made a journey of 
two thousand miles amid savage tribes who never before had 
seen a white man and returned to tell the tale. So also did 
that amazing fur trader, Peter Pond, who in the years 
1773-86 wandered at will with his wares all over the North- 
west, penetrating even to the Great Slave Lake. Cabeza de 
Vaca in 1537 crossed the continent from the mouth of the 
Mississippi to California with only three companions. We 
have no reason to suppose that it was safer to sojourn among 
the Indians in 1537 than in 1362. Nor have we reason to 
suppose that the hardy Norsemen were less capable than the 
Spaniards of making arduous journeys. Is it not rather a 
reasonable supposition that the Norsemen should finally 
undertake to explore this continent which they had discovered 

1 i.e., native to West Gothland in the southwestern part of Sweden. In the 
fourteenth century this was an independent province, united with a part of Nor- 
way under one king. 






The Kensington Rune Stone 


three hundred and sixty-two years previously and which we 
know from other indubitable historical records they occasion- 
ally visited ? 2 

After a prolonged study of the inscription I became con- 
vinced that this remarkable stone had been rejected without a 
proper investigation. The verdict pronounced against it ten 
years previously was based on an extremely faulty reading of 
the inscription and the arguments advanced against it did not, 
therefore, apply. With the hope of directing public attention 
once more to the matter, I presented my views to the public' 
Since then it has been a lively subject of debate both here and 
in Europe. 

Out of the widely extended controversy which followed 
has gradually come a clearer understanding of the surround- 
ing field of research. We have learned that the vernacular of 
South Sweden (the home of the rune master) in 1362 was not 
greatly different from its modern language, being analogous 
in its development with the same period of English speech. 
We have also discovered several important historical side 
lights which serve to illuminate the subject. There are now 
many men of learning who recognize in this inscription the 
oldest American historical document dealing with the coming 
of white men to this country. 

In this research the Minnesota Historical Society has 
taken a prominent part. Shortly after I published my 
reasons for believing the inscription a true record of pre- 
Columbian exploration the society appointed a committee of 
five members, headed by the late Professor N. H. Winchell, 
to make a thorough investigation of the subject. After more 
than a year's investigation this committee published a pre- 
liminary report of sixty printed pages, concluding with the 
resolution that the committee "takes a favorable view of the 
authenticity of the Kensington Rune Stone." After this 

2 The last historical voyage to America was made in 1347; see IslamUk* 
Annaler, edited by Professor Gustav Storm. 


H. R. Holand 

report appeared in print the inscription was the subject of 
much argument both at home and abroad. The committee 
therefore waited almost two years before rendering its final 
report. After all arguments on both sides seemed to have 
been presented, the committee published its final report, 
reaffirming in positive terms its conviction that the inscription 
is genuine. 3 

The committee's report is especially valuable for the light 
it throws on the geological and topographical conditions 
which center around the stone and which the committee finds 
to be strong evidence in favor of the inscription. It also 
adopts and amplifies the theory that the explorers came by 
way of Hudson Bay. 4 The committee has been criticised for 
not having had any competent scholar in Scandinavian 
languages present at its sittings. However, it had a better 
way. Instead of relying on any one scholar who might be 
unduly prejudiced for or against the stone the committee 
obtained opinions on all mooted linguistic questions from as 
many supposed experts on both sides as possible. With these 
opinions before it the committee was able to give them the 
impartial consideration of a judicial review. 


Aside from the superficial argument that such an expedi- 
tion is too improbable to be true the most general criticism has 
been against the linguistic aspects of the inscription. Differ- 
ent words have been pointed out to show that the language is 
not in accordance with fourteenth century usage. The 
weakness of this line of criticism is the lack of agreement 
among the critics. What one critic has pointed to as a serious 
anachronism has been admitted to be perfectly legitimate by 

3 Both reports with many illustrations are printed in the Minnesota Historical 
Collections, XV, 221-86. 

4 This theory was first advanced by Professor Andrew Fossum in an article 
printed in the Northfield (Minn.) Norwegian-American, Oct. 9. 1909. I shall 
later in this discussion point out further evidence in support of this theory. 

The Kensington Rune Stone 


An illustration of these linguistic arguments we have in 
the so-called English words on the stone. These are "mans," 
"from," "illy," and "of vest." These words were for years 
the most controverted parts of the inscription; many critics 
have pointed to them as the strongest evidence that the inscrip- 
tion can not be genuine. By the use of these words they 
claimed the rune master has proved himself a forger — that he 
must have been an immigrant who had already become so 
Americanized he could no longer write his mother tongue. 
However, when these words were submitted to Professors 
Sodervall, Kock, and Jonsson, the most eminent philologists 
of Sweden and Denmark, they recognized them as rare and 
antique forms sporadically occurring in the dialects of the 
fourteenth century, showing an intimate acquaintance with 
obsolete forms on the part of the rune master. 5 The linguistic 
forms of the inscription have indeed proved a boomerang to 
its critics. As one of the most eminent professors of Scandi- 
navian languages in this country, not a believer in the inscrip- 
tion, said : "There is not a man who has criticised the language 
of the rune stone who has not burned his fingers." 

It is reasonable to suppose that the men mentioned in the 
inscription were wandering soldiers and sailors gathered from 
different parts of Norway and Sweden (Gothland). Their 
orthography, grammar, and phonetics may therefore be 
supposed to partake of the irregular, careless forms character- 
istic of such roving people. It is therefore as unreasonable to 
judge the language of such men by the conventional literary 
forms of the monastic clerks of that period as it would now 
be to compare the language of an illiterate soldier of fortune 
with that of a college professor. Notwithstanding these 
eccentricities of speech it is possible to justify the presence 

"For a full discussion of these and other criticized words see my article 
entitled, "Are There English Words On the Kensington Rune-Stone?" in Reronla 
of the Past, IX, 240-45; "The Kensington Rune-Stone Abroad," Ibid., X, 260-71. 
See also Professor Fossum's able analysis in the Nonce gian- American, Feb. 24, 


II. R. Holand 

of every word in the inscription with one exception with the 
speech of Bohuslam, Sweden, of the Middle Ages. This one 
exception is the word opdage. It has not been found in any 
of the literary remains of that period. Sodervall, the Noah 
Webster of Sweden, says that while the word looks suspicious, 
he knows of no other word in use at that time expressing the 
same idea. It has been suggested that the word is a loan from 
the Dutch or East-Friesian where it early occurs. 6 As there 
was much commerce between Scandinavian and Dutch and 
Friesian ports sailors would be among the first to pick up such 
words. We have diaries written by Scandinavian seamen of 
the Middle Ages in which Dutch and German words fre- 
quently occur, showing that such loans were common. 7 Per- 
sonally I do not believe it is a loan from these countries as 
the word occurs in the form updaaga in the dialects of Upper 
Telemarken and other remote parts of Norway where the 
speech has had an autochthonous development with but very 
few loans from abroad. 

The present meaning of the word opdage is "to discover," 
but in all the dialects of the Middle Ages mentioned in the 
above paragraph it had a different meaning. It then meant 
"to reveal, to come to light, to make known." This is exactly 
the meaning of the word as it is used on the rune stone. These 
adventurers did not set out "to discover" a prospective objec- 
tive, but were on a journey "to make known," "to bring to 
light," "to reveal" a terra incognita. The word I use in 
translating it — "exploration- journey" — is only approxi- 
mately correct. 


The most elaborate attack on the Kensington stone is an 
address delivered by Professor G. T. Flom before the Illinois 

6 See Nederlandsch Woordenboek, XI, 407-11; W0rterbuch der Ostfriesischen 
Sprache; and Kalkars Ordbog over det Danske Sprog i Middelalderen. 

7 See for instance the diary of Alexander Leyell, telling of his journey to 
Greenland in 1605, which abounds in Dutch loan-words. 

The Kensington Rune Stone 


State Historical Society and later printed by him. 8 The chief 
feature of this address is an attempt to prove that the inscrip- 
tion is the modern fabrication of a native of the district of 
Dalarne in Sweden in which district the use of runes sporad- 
ically existed down to the close of the eighteenth century. 
Professor Flom is so positive in his belief that he has identi- 
fied the runes and language of the Kensington stone with 
those of Dalarne that he feels able to name the parish from 
which the runic forger hailed. We shall quickly see how 
correct he is in his identification. 

For proof Professor Flom refers to the Dalecarlian alpha- 
bets as given by Liljegren and Ihre-Gotlin. Unfortunately 
he omits to print these so that the reader may collate the 
Kensington alphabet with them. We will therefore do so 
now. In the accompanying table I give these alphabets 
exactly as they are reproduced by Professor Noreen in his 
exhaustive discussion of the Dalecarlian runes in Fornvcennen 
for 1906. 

A glance at these alphabets will convince the reader that 
the writer of the Kensington inscription did not get his runic 
lore from them. Instead of identity we find here such dis- 
parity in form that no runic inscription of the Middle Ages 
is more dissimilar to the Kensington alphabet than are the 
Dalecarlian inscriptions. Only b, h, % 3 m, and r are identical 
in form ; a, &, f, t, and are of the same type but show varia- 
tions, while c, g y k, I, o, p, q, V 3 x, y, %, ce, and a show more 
or less recent fantastic forms approaching in many cases the 
printed Latin forms which came into use. In some cases the 
character representing one letter has been adopted to repre- 
sent another; thus we have the character for h adopted to 
represent a, and the s has been attributed to oc. 

When we compare the linguistic forms of Dalarne with 
those of the Kensington inscription Flom's theory proves 

Illinois State Historical Society, Transactions, 1910, 105-25. 










• • 




U V 




« * 













k ' r 

L L 

n t 

K ^ 
c c 

f f 

< T * T 
ft ft 

W K 

The Kensington Rune Stone 


equally untenable. To be brief there are two convincing 
proofs why the Kensington scribe has not employed the 
dialect of Dalarne. The first is that f or the last three hundred 
years the aspirate h has dropped out of the Dalecarlian 
speech. 9 In contrast to this we find the Kensington inscrip- 
tion abounding in aspirates such as hem, har, hade, havet, 
iagh, oh , ahr, etc. The other is that the word-forms in 
Dalarne are in many cases very different. If the inscription 
were in the dialect of Dalarne, we would find ema for hem, ela 
for illy, menn for man, 0r for ahr, sjd for se, vesto for vest, 
nor do for nord, resa for rise, duce for dedh, voro for var, 
bluxd for blodh, kumo for horn, ver for vi, sker for skjcer, 
?su for deno, sen for havet, etc. 10 No Swedish dialect is 
further from the Kensington inscription than the Dalecarlian. 


The most remarkable thing about this inscription is its 
late. Removed as it is more than three hundred years from 
the time of the Norse discoveries of America it seemed so 
remote, so incompatible with known facts, that this more than 
anything else prejudiced the critical mind against it. For 
^ears it was treated as the wild guess of some simpleton, 
ignorant of the most elementary facts in early American 

A careful study of documents dealing with the history of 
Greenland, however, sheds light on this apparent absurdity 
and shows that the date is most fitting. We learn from these 
locuments that immediately prior to the date on the rune 
itone there was a great revival of Greenland commerce. 
Traffic to America was again resumed, or, at least, America 
was again discovered; a Norse expedition sent out by the 
king was actually in American waters in 1362. To under- 

9 See Boethius, Levander, and Noreen in their joint discussion of Dalecarlian 
inscriptions in Fornvwnnen 1906, 63-91. 

10 See Noreen's Ordlista Of ver Dalmdlet. 


H. R. Holand 

stand these documents a brief glance at Greenland's history ii 

Greenland was settled in the latter part of the tent! 
century and soon became quite populous. The colony wai 
divided into two parts, known as the Eastern and the Westeri 
settlements, both of them, however, lying on the west coast o: 
Greenland. The Eastern settlement was the larger, contain 
ing twelve parishes and churches, several nunneries anc 
monasteries, and a resident bishop. This lay a short distant 
west of Cape Farwell. About four hundred miles farthei 
northwest lay the Western settlement, containing thre< 
churches. During the first two hundred years of its history 
we find frequent mention of Greenland in Icelandic annaL 
and chronicles, showing that intercourse between the tw( 
countries was frequent. 11 Little by little this intercoms 
seems to have ceased until toward the end of the thirteentl 
century we read only at long intervals the meager mention 01 
the ordination of a new bishop for Greenland. 

Under date of 1309 we are informed that the bishop ol 
Greenland has returned to Norway. A new bishop i 
ordained and sails for Greenland. 12 No further mention i; 
made of Greenland for more than thirty years; not even th< 
archbishop knew whether the Greenland bishop was still alive 
Under date of 1343 we come to the next entry, stating that i 
new bishop for Greenland was ordained. Later it adds thai 
this was a mistake as the old bishop was still alive. 13 It alsc 
adds that the new bishop was unable to find transportation tc 
Greenland and never reached his charge. This shows thai 
commerce and intercourse between the two countries had ai 
that time almost ceased. 

"See particularly Floamanna Saga, Fostbrcedra Saga, also various Thcetti- 
in Flatey arb ok. 

12 See Flatey Annals and other annals under given date. 

13 See Flatey Annals; Skalholt Annals; the annals copied by Bishop Skulesoi 
(A.M.410,4) ; also A.M.411,4; 417,4; and 429,4 under 1342 and 1343. 

The Kensington Rime Stone 


About this time, however, we come to a great improvement 
in the relations of the mother country with her distant colony. 
In the year 1341 the Bishop of Bergen, alarmed, perhaps, at 
not hearing anything from his old friend, the Bishop of 
Greenland, selected one of the trustiest priests of his diocese 
and sent him to Greenland "upon errands of the Church." 14 
This priest was Ivar Bardsen to whose account we are princi- 
pally indebted for what we know of Greenland in the Middle 
Ages. The letter gives the impression that Bardsen was 
expected to make only a brief sojourn in Greenland and then 
return. However, we find later that he remained there many 
years as business manager of the large properties that 
belonged to the Greenland cathedral. 15 

Ivar Bardsen gives a cheerful account of the conditions of 
the Eastern settlement, showing it to be in prosperous circum- 
stances. He presumably sent a similar report back to his 
superior in Bergen. This probably explains the revival of 
Greenland's commerce which immediately followed. In 1344 
a merchant by the name of Thord Egilsson made a trip 
from Bergen to Greenland and returned the same year with 
much goods. The following year a very large merchant ves- 
sel was fitted out in Bergen and sailed for Greenland. In 
1346 it returned with "an immense amount of goods." As 
the king at that time lived in Bergen these things would no 
doubt come under his personal observation. It also seems 
that the profits of these Greenland traders were so large that 
the king decided to reserve the trade as his special monopoly. 
This he did by proclamation in 1348. 

Some time after Ivar Bardsen reached Greenland he was 
commissioned by the chief public officer of the colony to pro- 
ceed with a company of men to the Western settlement for the 
purpose of driving the Eskimos out of this settlement. When 

14 A copy of his letter commending his messenger to the good will of all con- 
cerned is found in the Bartholin MSS. Tomen Litr. E. S. 479, Copenhagen. 

15 We find him back again in Norway in 1364 where he is recorded as being 
a witness in a legal trial. 


H. R. Holand 

he and his men reached the Western settlement they found i 
entirely depopulated. Neither Norsemen nor Eskimos wer< 
found; but instead they found an abundance of cattle ant 
sheep wandering about without care. 16 

There is nothing in the account to suggest that the colo 
nists had been massacred by the Eskimos. No bloodshed i 
mentioned, and there is no evidence of plunder. In fact thi 
presumption is excluded as Ivar Bardsen found the cattle ant 
sheep grazing about in great number. This shows that Bard 
sen's party must have reached the colony only a short timi 
after the disappearance of the inhabitants as domestic animal 
could scarcely survive the severe winters of Greenland, nin< 
months long, without care. The fragmentary account tha 
is left to us gives absolutely no clew to what had happenet 

The answer to this question we find in a remarkable docu 
ment found in the cathedral of Skalholt, in Iceland. Thi; 
cathedral was in the Middle Ages the great repository of Ice 
landic records and literary treasures. In 1630 it was destroyet 
by fire, and a great mass of these documents perished. Bishoj 
Gisle Oddson, who was born at Skalholt, being a son of th< 
former bishop, Odd Einerson, was for many years officiating 
in the cathedral and therefore had the fullest opportunity o1 
becoming acquainted with its manuscripts. After the fire ht 
made from memory a synopsis of some of the most remarkablt 
documents that were lost. The following is one of them: 

1342. The inhabitants of Greenland fell voluntarily from the tru< 
faith and the Christian religion and after having given up all good man 

16 Following are the exact words of the text: "Item dette alt, som forsag 
er sagde oss Iffver Bardsen Gr0nLEnder, som var Forstander paa Bischobsgar 
den i Gardum paa Gr0nland udi mange Aar, at hand havde alt dette seett, ocl 
hand var en af dennem, som var udneffender af Lagmanden, at fare til Vester 
bygden emod de Skrelinge, att uddriffve de Schrellinge udaff Vesterbygd; och di 
de komme didt, da funde de ingen mand, enten christen eller heden, uden noge 
villdt Fae og Faaer, och bespissede sig aff det villdt Fae, och toge saa meget son 
Schivene kunde berre, och zeylede saa dermed hjemb, och forschreffne Iffver va: 
der med." See complete account printed in Gr0nlands Historiske Mindesmerker 
III, 248-60, from an old Danish translation of the sixteenth century contained ii 
the Arne Magnean MSS. No. 777. 

The Kensington Rune Stone 


ners and true virtues turned to the people of America. Some say that 
Greenland lies very near to the western lands of the world. 17 

There can be no question that here we find an explana- 
tion of the disappearance of the people of the Western settle- 
ment as witnessed by Ivar Bardsen. Left to themselves in 
that dismal region, scarcely seeing a European vessel once in 
a generation, it is no wonder if they gave up the doubtful 
blessing of the Church which was incapable of ministering 
to them and turned "voluntarily" to a region whose favored 
nature was a common tradition. One of their chief needs was 
timber, both for building and for fuel; for this they had to 
depend upon the doubtful contribution of the sea. They knew 
that this timber came from America (Markland) . 18 It would 
therefore be a most sensible decision to emigrate in a body to 
that place where all their needs would be easily supplied, 
taking with them what cattle they could. 

It seems that this emigration of the western colonists re- 
sulted in trade relations being again resumed with America. 
Up to this time we have no mention in any record whatsoever 
of any vessel having sailed to America since Bishop Eric Upsi 
journeyed thither in 1121. However, five years after these 
colonists left for America we read of a vessel from Green- 
land which in 1347 "had been to Markland" (supposedly 
Nova Scotia or Southern Labrador) , 19 This vessel, carrying 
a crew of eighteen men, on her return voyage to Greenland 
lost her anchor and drifted ashore in Iceland. The next year 
it sailed to Bergen, having for a passenger Jon Guttorm- 

""1342. Groenlandia incolas a vera fide et religione Christiana sponte sua 
defecerunt, et repudiatis omnibus honestis moribus et veris vertutibus ad America? 
populos se converterunt ; existimant enim quidam Groenlandium adeo vicinam esse 
occidentalibus orbis regionius." The document was translated out of the original 
records by Finn Magnusen, the eminent editor-in-chief of Grtfnlands Historiske 
Mindesmerker, and is printed there for the first time in Vol. Ill, 459. 

"There is an old account of the thirteenth century describing life in Green- 
land which mentions that the timber on which the Greenlanders depended "came 
out of the bays of Markland"; quoted in Ibid., Ill, 243. 

"This fact is recorded in six different Icelandic annals; see among them 
the Fin try Annals, the Skalholt Annals, and the Odda Annals under 1347. 


H. R. Holand 

son, a great chieftain of Iceland, who went to Bergen to see 
the king. 

We can easily imagine that the arrival of this vessel must 
have been a great event. Here was a company of Green- 
landers who could not only give a complete account of their 
own almost imknown country but could do much more. Here 
for the first time as far as we know stood men upon Norwe- 
gian soil who could from experience tell of America — that 
mysterious land across the sea where grew the luscious grape 
and the "self-sown wheat." They could tell of a land whose 
wealth of choice timber, rich fisheries, and fertile soil offered 
quite other favorable conditions of life than the bleak and 
barren shores of Greenland. No wonder that the king with 
such visions before him reserved trade with Greenland and 
the western lands as a private monopoly. We may also as- 
sume that he laid plans for immediately developing this 
monopoly and for extending his domains to the regions be- 

However, that same year, 1348, there came to Bergen 
another vessel that gave the king quite other things to think 
about. This was the vessel which brought the terrible Black 
Plague to Norway. During the next few years this plague 
exacted a terrible toll in Norway, laying some sections of the 
land completely waste and paralyzing all industries. It also 
proved very fatal to shipping so that "many vessels had only 
four or five survivors." 

These conditions prevented the king for some years from 
carrying out his plans towards his western lands. But we 
find that in 1354 he is again occupied with the project. We 
have left to us a letter from him empowering Paul Knutson, 
one of his most prominent military and legal officers, to fit 
out an expedition and sail to Greenland. The purpose is 
stated to be to preserve Christianity. "We do this to the 
honor of God and for the sake of our soul and our predeces- 

The Kensington Rune Stone 


sors who established Christianity in Greenland and we will 
not now let it perish" 20 

The last words no doubt point to the spiritual salvation 
of the colonists of the Western settlement who in 1342 had 
apostatized from the true faith and emigrated to America. 21 
To find them would necessitate an exploration of the Western 
settlement and subsequently of unknown parts of America to 
which they had emigrated. This, again, explains the presence 
of such a notable leader as Paul Knutson and also the long 
absence of the expedition from home. It left Norway in 
1355 but was not again heard of, according to Professor 
Storm, until 1363 or 1364. 22 

If we assume that the expedition had only Greenland as 
an objective, it becomes very difficult to understand its long 
absence from home. Paul Knutson was a very important 
man of those times, being chief judicial officer of Gulathing 
(Gulathings Lagmand), 23 the largest judicial district, com- 
prising all the western and central parts of Norway. He was 
also one of the king's lendermcend having in charge the ad- 
ministration of a large district near Bergen. Finally he was 
an officer in the king's army and a large landowner. It is in- 
conceivable that such a man of affairs should linger year after 
year in the dreary little colony of Greenland. If, however, 
his mission meant the rescue of the lost colonists who had emi- 
grated to unknown parts of America a few years before we 

20 An ancient Danish translation of this document is printed in Gr0nlanas 
Historiske Mindesmerker, III, 120-22. Cf. also Storm's Studier over Vinlandsrei- 
serne, p. 365; Munch's Bet Norske Folks Historie, Unionsperioden, I, 312. 

21 The spiritual welfare of Greenland seems to have been a matter of deep 
concern to this pious monarch, Magnus Erikson. When he drew up his will in 
1347 he left a large amount of money to the cathedral in Greenland. 

22 See Storm, 365. Storm does not cite any authority for this conclusion. 
I find reason, however, to believe he is correctly informed by a statement which 
occurs in a fragmentary annal (Arne Magnussen 423-24) covering the years 
1328-72. From this we learn that Bishop Alf was ordained bishop of Greenland 
in 1365. As it was customary to ordain a new bishop immediately or within a 
year after the news of his predecessor's death, and as his predecessor, Arnald, 
had died in 1349, this means that no vessel had returned from Greenland in the 
Intervening years until shortly before 1365. 

28 See Biplomariurn Norwegieum, 1347 and 1348. 


//. 11. Holand 

see quite sufficient reasons for his continued absence. As a 
good Catholic he must have been horrified that so many of his 
king's subjects should have given up the faith and reverted to 
idolatry. He would feel it his duty to save them from eternal 
damnation by bringing them back into the Church. More- 
over, as special representative of the king he would feel called 
upon to examine the material conditions of this new land 
(America) recently brought to the attention of the king and 
to which his subjects had emigrated, and see if it was worth 
annexing to the crown. 

Here we have the striking coincidence of the presence of a 
Norse expedition in American waters in the very year re- 
corded in the inscription. Documentary evidence here ends 
but we can easily conceive the missing link. It is reasonable 
to suppose that after searching about in the adjacent parts of 
Greenland and America for clues of the missing colonists, 
Paul Knutson and his party eventually reached the Vinland 
of traditional fame. Here a fortified base of operations is 
presumably established. Supposing this new land to be an 
island (which was the view held by all the old Norsemen) and 
reasoning that the colonists would be found somewhere on 
its shore, they send out an expedition to follow the shore and 
if necessary to circumnavigate the land. In the course of time 
they reach the interior of Hudson Bay. Here they find that 
the land again turns northward into the arctic wastes. 24 

What now would be the reasonable thing to be done? To 
continue northward without ample provisions and equipment 
would be to yield themselves to the fate of the arctic winter. 

24 As is now well known, Vilhjalmur Stefansson in 1909 discovered a blonde 
tribe of huge Eskimos a short distance west of Hudson Bay, which may very 
likely be the descendants of the lost Greenland colonists. Among his collections 
is a photograph taken by his companion, Dr. Anderson of the University of Iowa. 
It shows Mr. Stefansson standing in the midst of a group of sixteen of these 
blonde Eskimos, every one of them having the facial appearance of a typical Nor- 
wegian farmer. Although Mr. Stefansson lacks but an inch of six feet in height 
he scarcely reaches to their shoulders. His account of his meeting with these 
strange people, printed in My Life m the Arctic, reads like an old-time epic. 
General Greely in the National Geographic Magazine points out that earlier 
arctic explorers have met this strange tribe of blonde Eskimos farther east. 

The Kensington Rune Stone 


Perhaps they were also under orders to report to headquar- 
ters in Vinland within a certain time. It is also likely that 
Hudson Bay was beginning to freeze over; its open season is 
only three months. 

They could not go north, but to the south opened a broad 
and navigable highway — the Nelson River. They therefore 
decide to split the expedition, a small party to remain with 
the vessels over winter while the larger number go up the 
Nelson River and then back over land to Vinland. This would 
also give them the opportunity of exploring the interior of 
this new land. They, of course, had no conception of the vast 
continent which separated them from their headquarters. 
Their impression was that America was a large island, very 
long north and south but not so big east and west. As they 
had traveled a vast distance from Vinland toward the north 
and now in Hudson Bay had returned several hundred miles 
toward the south, they probably reasoned that by some further 
travel southward they would reach a point not very far from 
Vinland to the west. The probability of this theory is sup- 
ported by the fact that when some time later ten of their num- 
ber are killed by Indians they do not turn back but continue 
southeastward, which would be the direction of safety for 
them, — that is, their headquarters in Vinland, supposedly not 
far away. 

Our knowledge of the Paul Knutson expedition throws 
new light on the inscription. It reads that this journey of 
exploration "through the western regions" came from Vin- 
land — not from Norway or Greenland. This indicates that 
a lengthy stay had been made in the land just as was made 
by Knutson. It also mentions that they had more than one 
vessel; therefore it was a well-equipped expedition like Knut- 
son's. The Latin letters A V M, which are a part of the 
prayer that follows, suggest that a priest accompanied the 
party; this was no doubt the case in Knutson's expedition 
which according to the king's letter was a crusade for the 


II. R. Holand 

preservation of Christianity. Finally it would have been prac- 
tically impossible for the survivors of the Kensington party to 
return to Norway until 1364 which is the very year when the 
survivors of Knutson's party returned home. The date of their 
return was not brought out, however, until 1889 when Storm's 
book, Studier over Vinlandsreiserne, appeared and inciden- 
tally mentions it. The opinion of geologists and the circum- 
stances surrounding the finding of the stone unite, however, 
in the conclusion that the inscription must have been written 
long before that time as will be shown below. 

The facts concerning the apostasy of the Greenland colo- 
nists and their subsequent emigration to America; the jour- 
ney to Bergen, the king's residence ; the Greenland voyagers 
who had been to America (Markland) ; the subsequent rescue 
expedition of Paul Knutson; and other facts mentioned above 
are very little known even among well-informed historians. 
They have been gleaned from various rare sources difficult of 
access and have been correlated and published here for the first 
time. It is therefore extremely unlikely that any runic charla- 
tan perpetrating a hoax should have used this material as a 
basis for his purposeless account. If he by chance had known 
of the king's letter commissioning Knutson to start out on 
his expedition in 1355 he would have chosen a date for the in- 
scription in more obvious agreement with it — say 1356 or 
1357. For as stated above, the time of Knutson's return was 
not known until 1889 — a number of years after the inscrip- 
tion by any theory could have been written. We have there- 
fore here additional evidence in support of the truth of the 


I. The position of the stone in situ. The stone was found 
on a timbered elevation only a few feet from the edge of a 
marsh which surrounds it. About five hundred feet away 
across the open marsh and facing directly toward it stands 

The Kensington Rune Stone 


the house of Nils Platen, a pioneer settler who has lived there 
continuously since 1884. The stone lay immediately below 
the surface of the ground, clutched in the grasp of the two 
largest roots of a poplar tree. One of the roots had followed 
the horizontal surface of the stone and then made an abrupt 
turn downward. The other root descended straight down- 
ward along the other side of the stone. Both roots were flat 
on the side touching the stone. At the two points where they 
passed over the edges of the stone they were wide and flat 
and sharply marked on the inside. It has been claimed that 
the runic forger might have dug a hole under a tree and then 
pushed the stone under the roots. Such a thing is possible 
but not in this case. It would be impossible to twist the tena- 
cious roots of a tree about and hold them in place to make 
them conform to the shape of the stone so closely unless it 
grew up from a very small sapling after the stone was de- 
posited there. Moreover, the flat surface of the roots prove 
that the tree must have grown up since the stone was placed. 

These facts have been substantiated by numerous affida- 
vits from people who saw the stump shortly after it was dug 
up; also that the tree was from eight to ten inches in diameter. 
A poplar tree grows rapidly in the open. But this tree grew 
in a block of dense timber, overshadowed by larger trees. Mr. 
Ohman also states that it was a sickly tree of stunted growth. 
In order to learn something of its probable age Mr. Ohman 
was requested to cut down two other poplars of the same size 
and physical appearance. He was also asked, for purpose of 
comparison, to cut down two other poplars of the same size 
but of thrifty appearance and vigorous growth. He carefully 
selected these four trees, cut them down, and sent in a cross 
section of each. The first two were found to have respectively 
sixty-eight and seventy-five annual rings of growth ; the other 
two had forty and forty-five rings. 25 

25 Plate IV, volume XV, of the Minnesota Historical Collections shows cross 
sections of the healthy trees having forty and forty-five rings respectively. It 
was impossible to make a clear photographic copy of the stunted trees of same 
size, as the rings were too close and indistinct. 

II. R. Iloland 

If, to be conservative, we assume that the tree was forty 
years old this brings us back to 1858 as the latest date when 
the stone could have been placed there. But this was many 
years before a single white settler had found his way to that 
section of the state. The first white settler in the county came 
there in 1865 and lived alone as a hermit in the wilderness for 
several years. Immigration followed the projected survey of 
the Great Northern Railway, which passed through Alexan- 
dria about twenty-five miles east of the finding place in 1878. 
At Alexandria Senator Knute Nelson was one of the first 
settlers. He took a homestead, now included within the city 
limits, in 1870. 

In 1858 the nearest railroad point to the finding place of 
the stone was La Crosse. Not until 1862 was there any con- 
struction in Minnesota. In 1866 the first railroad west of 
St. Paul was built as far as St. Cloud, one hundred twenty 
miles from Kensington. No railroad reached Douglas 
County until 1878 when Alexandria, twenty-five miles from 
Kensington, was reached. If the Kensington inscription is 
a forgery we must suppose that a man of eminent runic, 
linguistic, and historical erudition set forth a hundred miles 
and more into an unsettled wilderness and there, exposed to 
attacks by savage animals and treacherous Indians, carved 
out a lengthy inscription which would bring him neither honor 
nor riches. This being done, he buries it upon a rough, 
timber-covered knoll surrounded by marshes — a place which 
an early visitor would never expect to see cultivated ! Such a 
supposition is too remote to be credible. 

II. The weathered appearance of the stone. The com- 
position of the stone is described as follows by Professor N. H. 
Winchell: "The composition of the stone makes it one of the 
most durable in nature, equaling granite and almost equaling 
the dense quartzite of the pipestone quarry in the southwest- 
ern part of Minnesota. On the surface of this quartzite, even 
where exposed to the weather since they were formed, the fine 

The Kensington Rune Stone 


glacial scratches and polishing are well preserved, and when 
covered by drift clay they seem not to have been changed at 
all." 26 

In 1910 when the controversy concerning the stone was at 
its height and a number of prominent scholars had pronounced 
it fraudulent because of the alleged presence of English 
words, etc., the stone was submitted to the examination of 
seven professional geologists. None of these experts were 
able to discover any evidence that the stone had been recently 
engraved. They were advised of the fact that prominent 
philologists considered the stone a modern forgery but not- 
withstanding this warning three of them did not hesitate posi- 
tively to affirm that the inscription showed great age. Pro- 
fessor W. O. Hotchkiss, state geologist of Wisconsin, wrote 
the following statement: "After having carefully examined 
the so-called Kensington runic stone I have no hesitation in 
affirming that its inscription must have been carved very long 
ago — at least fifty to a hundred years." 27 

Dr. Warren Upham, a specialist in glacial geology, gave 
the following opinion: "When we compare the excellent 
preservation of the glacial scratches shown on the back of the 
stone, which were made several thousand years ago, with the 
mellow, time-worn appearance of the face of the inscription, 
the conclusion is inevitable that this inscription must have 
been carved many hundred years ago." 

Professor N. H. Winchell wrote as follows: "The gen- 
eral 'mellow' color of the face of the graywacke (rune stone) 
and of the whole surface of the stone is also to be noted. This 
is the first apparent effect of weathering. Graywacke may 
be estimated to be fifty to a hundred times more durable in 
the weather than calcite, some graywackes being more re- 
sistant than others. * * * 

2fl Minnesota Historical Collections, XV, 237. 

87 Statement filed with Minnesota Historical Society. 


H. R. Holand 

"There are six stages of the weathering of graywacke 
which are exhibited by the stone, and they may be arranged 
approximately in a scale as follows: 

1. A fresh break or cut 

2. Break or cut shown by the runes of the face 5 

3. Edge-face, which has not been engraved, but was 

apparently dressed by a rough bush-hammering. 5 

4. The inscribed face of the stone 10 

5. The finely glaciated and polished back side and the 

non-hammered portion of the edge 80 

6. The coarse gouging and the general beveling and 

deepest weathering of the back side 250 or 500 

"These figures are but rough estimates and are intended 
to express the grand epochs of time through which the stone 
has passed since it started from the solid rock of which it 
formed a part prior to the Glacial period; and to a certain 
degree they are subject to the personal equation of the per- 
son who gives them. * * * If the figures in the fore- 
going series be all multiplied by 100, they would stand: 

(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) 
000: 500: 500: 1,000: 8,000: 25,000 or 50,000 

"Since 8,000 years is approximately the date of the end 
of the latest glaciation ( 5 ) , the numbers may all be accepted 
as the approximate number of years required for the various 
stages of weathering. Hence stages (2) and (3) may have 
required each about 500 years." 28 

III. The fourteen days' journey. The actual distance 
from Kensington to Hudson Bay at the mouth of Nelson 
River is about eight hundred fifty miles. To this must 
be added about two hundred miles for the windings of the 
river. This makes a total of ten hundred fifty miles which 
would make an average journey of seventy-five miles per 
day. To make seventy-five miles per day against a rapid 
current or on foot is manifestly impossible. This has, there- 
fore, been used as an argument against the authenticity of 

28 Ibid., 236-37. 

The Kensington Rune Stone 


the inscription. Such objectors overlook, however, that the 
physical impossibility of such a rate of travel would be just 
as obvious to the rune master as to the critics. If he were a 
forger he must have been a very learned and intelligent man 
and such a man would not have made such an obvious blun- 
der. He would in all probability have computed the distance 
carefully and then divided it into easy journeys of twenty 
miles or less per day. 

The rune master did not make a blunder, however, in 
stating that it was fourteen days' journey to the sea (Hudson 
Bay) . The difficulty is that the meaning of the term "days' 
journey" has escaped us. The Norsemen of the Middle Ages 
did not have any measure such as we now use for estimating 
distances. The Norse word mil, like the English "mile," is 
derived from the Latin mille, a thousand, i.e., milia passuum, 
a thousand paces ; we have no Norse nor Teutonic word for 
this. The Slavs have their verst and the Germans their 
Stunde, i.e., the distance covered in one hour's walking. This 
Stunde is a recognized unit of distance whether covered by 
the leisurely gait of a man or the swift pace of a trotting 

Similarly the Norsemen, whose travel was mostly done 
on the sea, had a recognized unit of distance. This was "a 
day's sail" or "a day's journey." Passing along shore from 
headland to headland these sailors early became experts in 
estimating distances, and the distance covered in a day's sail 
with a fair wind became a recognized unit of distance used 
irrespective of how many days it actually took to make the 
journey. This unit of distance for a twelve-hour day, or 
dcegr^wsLS from seventy-five to eighty-five miles per 4 day. Thus 
we are always informed that the distance from Bergen to 
Iceland is "seven days' sail" although on that stormy sea it 
nearly always took several weeks to make the journey. Like- 
wise we are told repeatedly that the distance from Iceland to 


H. It. Iloland 

Greenland is "four days' sail" although this journey usual] 
took several weeks owing to storms and adverse ice cond 
tions. When, therefore, the rune master says it is fourtee 
days' journey to the sea he speaks in terms in which he w* 
wont to think. He means to tell us that he estimates the di 
tance at fourteen times eighty miles (a day's journey) ( 
eleven hundred twenty miles. This agrees very well wi1 
actual facts. However, this method of reckoning distance 
not suggestive of modern authorship. 

IV. The numerals. For many years after the rune stor 
was found the most mystifying feature about it was tl 
numerals. It was long before they were correctly inte: 
preted. When this was done they were pointed to as stron 
proof of the modern fabrication of the inscription, seeing thi 
the rune master "was unable to write dates and numbers e: 
cept in a system of his own invention." It was not until 19C 
— eleven years after the stone was found — that Helge Gje 
sing, a philologist of Christiania, was able to show that the} 
numerals were not an invention of the runic scribe but wei 
in perfect accord with runic numerals used in the Midd 
Ages. 29 This is another testimony of the unusual scholarshi 
that would be required in a modern forger to write this e: 
traordinary inscription. 

G jessing points out that a Danish writer by the name c 
Ole Worm in 1643 published a work in Latin, entitled Fas 
Danici, in which these runic numerals occur. This work hi 
never been translated nor reprinted. The rune master, if I 
were a forger, must therefore have had access to very rai 
books and was able to read Latin. As to these numerals, 01 
Worm in this part of his work discusses the ancient primstan 
or household calendars, which were in use in the Scandinavia 
countries in the Middle Ages. These calendars consisted c 
flat sticks of wood about thirty inches long and two inch* 
wide. Upon them was carved a multitude of signs to repre 

29 See his article in Symra, Decorah, Iowa, for 1909, No. 3, 116-19. 

The Kensington Rune Stone 


sent the many holy days of the Church, separated by a series 
of dots indicating the number of intervening days. Besides 
this, some of these primstave also contained nineteen numer- 
als—one for each of the moon cycle's nineteen years — by help 
of which one could figure out the diff erent dates upon which 
the new moons of that year would appear. However, when 
we compare the numerals on the rune stone with the corre- 
sponding numerals in Worm's book we find a difference. 
The accompanying illustration shows that they are the same 
in type but differ in detail in every figure : 

1 2 3 4 5 6' 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 1.5 16 17 18 19 

r r nr h in t nt fHU 

This difference in form shows that while the rune master is 
familiar with the system of numerals preserved for us by 
Worm he has followed another model; which indicates that 
he wrote at a time when these primstave were in daily use 
and plentiful, i.e., in the fourteenth century. 

There is another significant thing about these numbers 
and that is the rune master's way of writing the numbers 10 
and 14. The old Scandinavians used "twenty" as a base in 
their system of notation. Larger numbers were expressed as 
so and so many "twenties." This system still survives ety- 
mologically in such archaic terms as et halvt tjau, i.e., "half 
a twenty" = 10; tres, "three (twenties)" = 60; kalv-fjers, 
"half of the fourth (twenty) " = 70, etc. We therefore find, 
not nine, but twenty units in their system of notation. Nine- 
teen of these units are shown in the illustration of the num- 
bers used on the primstave. 

The rune master does not use this system. In writing 
number 14 he uses two digits, or, in other words, the compara- 


H. 11. Holand 

tively modern decimal system which has 10 for its base. He 
also uses this in writing 22 and 1362. Gjessing has shown 
that the decimal system was introduced in the North prior to 
1362. 30 One might object that the rune master probably knew 
nothing about the rather obscure history of notation and 
wrote as he was wont, thinking that our common decimal sys- 
tem had always been in use. This view is, however, excluded 
when we see how he writes the number 10. An ordinary per- 
son not knowing the history of the decimal system would in- 
variably write 10 with two digits. This has become such a 
fixed rule with us that it is difficult to imagine it was ever 
otherwise. The rune master however uses only one digit. 
The reason for this is that while the decimal system was intro- 
duced into Europe about 1200 A. D. at first it had only the 
figures 1 to 9; the zero was not introduced until about two 
hundred years later. If the rune master had written 10 with 
two digits he would have committed a serious anachronism; 
but in this as in other things he has shown himself to be in 
strict conformity to the usage and limitations of his time. 

These numerals, therefore, so long a puzzle to the critics, 
prove to contain two cogent arguments corroborating the 
authenticity of the inscription. 

V. ATM: Save from evil. In the intimate conformity 
of this prayer with fourteenth century usage we have another 
evidence of the genuineness of the inscription. This was, 
like many other parts of the inscription, objected to, the as- 
sertion being made that the rune master by the use of the 
salutation, "Hail, Mary!" (Ave Maria) in the beginning 
of a prayer for deliverance from bodily peril showed himself 
to be a modern Lutheran or non-Catholic, not conversant with 
the proper use of Catholic prayers. The Angelica Salutatio 
of which the above Ave Maria (Hail, Mary) is the familiar 
beginning, is not, as is well known at least to all Catholics, 

*°Ibid., 117. 

The Kensington Rune Stone 


a prayer for deliverance from bodily peril but a greeting of 
adoration, a divine salutation. A modern Scandinavian forger 
of non-Catholic faith who would have picked up his knowl- 
edge of Catholic usage through literary channels would there- 
fore not have chosen this phrase, Ave Maria, in this connec- 
tion. Particularly would this be true if he understood Latin 
(as is shown by the preceding paragraph he must have done) . 
He would then at once have been conscious that the saluta- 
tion, "Hail, Mary," would not seem proper as the beginning 
of a prayer for deliverance from evil. The presumption that 
this is the work of a modern forger therefore seems excluded. 

In the fourteenth century, however, conditions were dif- 
ferent. In those comparatively illiterate days the frequent 
intonation of the Angelic Salutation had given to the expres- 
sion, Ave Maria, an almost talismanic power and the two 
words were largely used as one divine name, or Ave was used 
as an attribute of Maria. 31 The fact that the three letters 
A V M are written without any separating marks, whereas 
all other words in the inscription are separated by double 
points, indicates that the rune master considered them as one 
name. To him it was the most sacred name he knew and he 
wished to express reverence in writing it. He therefore used 
Latin letters — the language of the Church — in writing them. 
Archbishop Ireland was deeply impressed by the peculiar 
wording of this prayer and stated that it was strong evidence 
to him that it was written in the Middle Ages. 32 

As to the prayer, frceelse af illy, which has been con- 
demned as an Anglicism, we find it literally in an ancient folk- 
lore poem harking back to the Black Plague (A. D. 1349) 
but which came to light several years after the stone was 
found. I give the first stanza below, and will call special 

^Liljegren states that Ave Maria occurs frequently on inscriptions of the 
Middle Ages as introductory to all kinds of prayers. See his Runlaere, 166-69. 
82 St. Paul Dispatch, Dec. 14, 1909. 


II. R. Holand 

attention to the last two lines, which, with a slight variation, 
serve as a refrain throughout the ballad: 

Svartedauen for laand aa straand, 
Aa sopa so mangei tilje; 
De vi eg no fer sanno tru, 
De var kje me Herrens vilje. 

Hjselpe oss Gud aa Maria M0y, 

Frelse oss alle av illi! 

The Black Plague sped (over) land and sea 
And swept so many a board (floor). 
That will I now most surely believe, 
It was not with the Lord's will. 

Help us God and Virgin Mary, 

Save us all from evil! 33 

Here, as will be noted, we have not only our "illy" pho- 
netically reproduced but we have literally the same prayer 
as on the stone plus the redundant oss alle. The ballad also, 
like the prayer in the inscription, uses the ancient preposition 
afj, which has long since been superseded by fra. Altogether, 
this prayer shows most striking conformity to fourteenth cen- 
tury usage here substantiated in its entirety in this old ballad 
which was not published until many years after the rune stone 
was found. 

There are several other aspects of the inscription which 
speak strongly for its genuineness, particularly the runic 
characters. A discussion of these, however, would be too 
technical and voluminous to be attempted in a popular pres- 
entation like this. While the arguments cited above may not 
separately be considered as conclusive, their aggregate weight 
is such as to leave little doubt that we have in this inscription 
a most important record dating from the fourteenth century. 
On the other hand, not a single argument has yet been pre- 

88 This folksong was communicated by Mr. Olav Tortvei, Moorhead, Minn., 
to Mr. Torkel Oftelie, a folklorist of Fergus Falls, Minn., by whom it was printed 
in Telesoga, No. 1, 1909. Mr. Tortvei was an octogenarian pioneer, now dead, 
who, though illiterate, remembered hundreds of old ballads which he had heard 
in his childhood. Mr. Oftelie sent this ballad — F0mesbronen — to the eminent 
folklorist Rikard Berge of Telemarken, Norway, who said he had not met with 
it in his researches. 

The Kensington Rune Stone 


sented against the inscription which has been found to be 
valid. It seems obvious that it would be impossible for a 
present-day forger to construct an inscription of such length 
and multiplicity of ideas without leaving indubitable proof of 
his forgery. Particularly would this be true of an inscription 
purporting to date from the fourteenth century which is a 
peculiarly difficult period linguistically, runologically, and 
historically. The multitude of errors which critics have made 
in reviewing the inscription shows the difficulties any one of 
these men would have encountered if he had attempted to 
invent such an inscription. Yet this inscription, coming from 
an uninhabited wilderness, has survived all attacks made upon 
it for more than twenty years. 

In view of this and in view of the great significance of its 
message, it is surely time for our learned societies and institu- 
tions to cease their "waiting and watching" attitude and take 
energetic action in thoroughly investigating the subject. 34 

34 After this article had been sent to the press word was received from Mr. 
Holand that he had located the two skerries mentioned in the inscription and 
had made certain other discoveries in connection therewith. A brief account of 
these discoveries will be given in an early issue of this magazine. 

W. A. Titus 


Ay, call it holy ground, 

The soil where first they trod. — Hemans. 

Of all the points of historic interest in Wisconsin none 
stands out in bolder relief than the scant two miles of low 
plain that separates the Fox from the Wisconsin River at 
the great westward bend of the latter. From the days of the 
earliest traders and explorers this narrow isthmus has been 
known in journal and Jesuit Relation as "the portage," and 
almost every maker of early history in what is now Wisconsin 
trod this break between river and river. At certain seasons 
when the Wisconsin River was at high-water mark this low 
divide was inundated, and boats could float over it without 
halt or hindrance. A notable instance occurred in 1828 when 
the Fifth Regiment of United States Infantry passed over 
the portage in boats, thus making the entire trip by water 
from St. Louis to Green Bay. 

At a very early date Wisconsin was visited by fur traders, 
many of whom were free lances; that is, they operated with- 
out license from the French government and therefore made 
no record of their journeyings. Thus we have no way of 
knowing where they went and what they observed, but it is 
fair to infer that in almost every case these illicit rovers pre- 
ceded the explorers and missionaries, who kept and have 
transmitted to us more or less complete records of their dis- 

For the early explorers the canoe was the only practical 
method of transportation; therefore the voyagers were keen 
to follow the waterways into the interior. Every white man 
who reached the Winnebago region was told by the Indians 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin 


about the route that led to the "great water" through the 
stream now known as the Upper Fox, but without the help of 
the native guides it would have been difficult if not impossible 
for the French explorers to thread their way through the 
shallow channels hidden by wild rice or through the interven- 
ing sedgy lakes where the passages midst rush and reed 
formed a labyrinth. 

So far as known the first white men to visit the portage 
were Louis Jolliet, an agent of the French government, and 
Father Jacques Marquette, a Jesuit missionary, who with 
several companions crossed the neck of land in the summer 
of 1673 on their voyage that led to the discovery of the upper 
Mississippi. Marquette has left a record of this long journey 
wherein he indicates his surprise that a strip of land so nar- 
row and so low could separate two rivers, one of which flows 
into the Gulf of Mexico and the other into the Gulf of St. 

Visitors whose names are written into the history of the 
Northwest now came at frequent intervals. Louis Hennepin 
crossed the portage in 1680; and we read that in 1683 Le 
Sueur passed from the Fox to the Wisconsin at this point. 
During the next three-quarters of a century the Fox- 
Wisconsin route was closed to civilization because of the mer- 
ciless war that was waged by the French against the Fox 
Indians. The latter were defeated time after time with terri- 
ble slaughter, and neither age nor sex was spared; but the 
French could not wholly exterminate the tribe. This struggle 
was a sad blot on the period of French occupation ; the Foxes 
never forgot nor forgave the treatment they received from 
the whites. 

Jonathan Carver, the first English explorer, was at the 
portage in 1766 and wrote a very interesting account of the 
country along the courses of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers. 
His description of the portage is especially instructive. 


W. A. Titus 

In 1793 Laurent Barth built a rude home near the port- 
age, possibly the first building erected in the vicinity by a 
white man. Barth engaged in the business of transporting 
small boats and their cargoes between the two rivers. He 
enjoyed a monopoly of the transfer business at this point 
until 1798, when John Lecuyer came with an improved outfit 
and entered into competition with Barth. With a heavy 
wagon greatly lengthened by the use of a long reach Lecuyer 
was enabled to haul boats of considerable size from one river 
to the other. Lecuyer died in 1810 and was succeeded by his 
son-in-law, Francis Le Roy. It is recorded that in 1817 
Le Roy charged fifty cents per hundredweight for taking 
goods across the portage and that he received ten dollars each 
for hauling boats overland from river to river. Augustin 
Grignon mentions in his "Recollections" that he was at the 
portage during the winter of 1802; other well-known traders 
were there at various times during the first years of the nine- 
teenth century. 

At the close of the Revolutionary War the future Wis- 
consin was included in the territory that was ceded to the 
United States by Great Britain. In 1814 a British-Indian 
army, following in the path of one which thirty-four years 
earlier had crossed Wisconsin and descended the Mississippi 
to attack the Spaniards at St. Louis, wended its way through 
Lake Winnebago, up the Fox River, across the portage, and 
down the Wisconsin to its mouth. This was Colonel McKay's 
command of British soldiers and Indian allies before whom 
Prairie du Chien fell a few days later. After the close of the 
war with England the British and Indians withdrew by the 
same route to Green Bay, from which point they returned 
to Canada. 

In 1819 the Fifth Regiment, United States Infantry, 
crossed the portage ; the Third Regiment, United States In- 
fantry, passed over this much traversed route in 1826. 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin 


In 1827 the ill feeling and unrest among the Winnebago 
Indians came to acts of open hostility on the part of some of 
the tribesmen, and a number of white settlers were killed. 
Government troops were ordered to proceed to the portage, 
and there occurred the dramatic episode that ended the 
trouble. The Indians, to save themselves from defeat and 
possible annihilation, surrendered Chiefs Red Bird and We- 
kaw as the murderers of the settlers. The pair with another 
warrior was taken to Prairie du Chien, tried, and sentenced 
to death. Red Bird died in prison; the other two were sub- 
sequently pardoned. 

In the autumn of 1828 the First Regiment, United States 
Infantry, was ordered to proceed to the portage and build a 
fort on the east side of the Fox River. Major Twiggs, who 
later became General Twiggs of the Confederate States, was 
in command; among his subordinates were men who were 
destined to become famous in the military annals of the coun- 
try. Captain Buell, Captain Harney, and Lieut. Jefferson 
Davis were among those who witnessed the building of Fort 
Winnebago as the new post was called. The buildings were 
constructed of materials found in the neighborhood — stone 
from a near-by quarry, brick burned on the west bank of the 
Wisconsin River, and lumber sawed by hand from logs that 
were floated down the river. Jefferson Davis is said to have 
had considerable to do with the actual construction work. 
He was a young graduate of West Point and came to Fort 
Winnebago from Fort Crawford where he had begun, a year 
or so earlier, his active military career. 

Fort Winnebago was built in the form of a square en- 
closed by pickets or palisades. The fortifications consisted 
of two strong blockhouses at diagonally opposite corners of 
the square. The auxiliary buildings, consisting of hospital, 
warehouses, commissary building, shops, and stables, were 
near by but outside the enclosure. The entire group of build- 
ings is said to have been quite pretentious in appearance and 


W. A. Titus 

well constructed. During the Black Hawk War Fort Win- 
nebago was not in good condition to offer resistance to an 
attack, as a portion of the garrison had been ordered to move 
southward to join the army in the field. The supplies were 
stored outside the stockade ; the living quarters were quite un- 
protected. It had not been thought possible that Black Hawk 
and his band would push so far north as the Hustisford Bap- 
ids, so when the proximity of the savages became known there 
was great excitement at the post, which did not subside until 
it was learned that the Sauk were in full retreat toward the 
Four Lakes region. 

Fort Winnebago was garrisoned continuously until 1845, 
when it was evacuated and never again occupied by a military 
force. In 1856 a fire destroyed much of the fort and adja- 
cent buildings. Today a peaceful farmhouse occupies the site 
of this former guardian of the old frontier. 

Louise Phelps Kellogg 



The first routes to Wisconsin were waterways. Bounded 
by the Great Lakes and the Mississippi, the natural means 
of approach was by watercraft. Sailing vessels from the 
eastern ports landed goods and passengers at Green Bay; keel 
boats up and down the Mississippi connected Prairie du 
Chien with St. Louis and New Orleans: canoes and Macki- 
naw boats plied the inland rivers. The invention of the steam- 
boat accelerated traffic. The first lakes' steamer reached 
Green Bay in 1821 ; the first upper river steamboat ascended 
the Mississippi in 1823. The first Wisconsin settlers in the 
lead mining region came by way of the Mississippi to Galena, 
thence overland on foot or on horseback. Later, steamboats 
made landings at the Grant County ports of Cassville and 
Sinipee. By the time of the Black Hawk War the mining 
centers were connected by a number of rude roads. Beyond 
this region there was, until the erection of the territory, but 
one road in Wisconsin, the military highway opened by 
detachments of troops between 1833 and 1836. This road 
connected Port Howard at Green Bay with Port Winnebago 
at the portage by a route along the south bank of the Fox 
River, the east shore of Lake Winnebago; thence across 
country direct to Portage. From there the second division of 
the road ran southwest to Blue Mounds; thence along the 
Wisconsin watershed to which it gave the name of Military 
Ridge. It crossed the Wisconsin about six miles above its 
mouth and from the ferry ran to Fort Crawford at Prairie 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

du Chien. All the cross-country traffic except that on the 
Fox -Wisconsin waterway went by this road. By 1836 several 
taverns had been opened along its western portion. 

Coming from the south was a long-used Indian trail from 
Chicago to Green Bay. It crossed from Grosse Point (now 
Winnetka) to Skunk Grove, just west of the present Racine; 
thence ran to Juneau's post on Milwaukee River; thence 
north, following the general line of the lake shore, touching 
it at Port Washington and Two Rivers. 17 Gradually as white 
travelers took this trail they cut its curves and broadened 
its pathway until it took on the semblance of a road. 


Notwithstanding the advertisement of Wisconsin lands 
during and succeeding the Black Hawk War of 1832, it was 
not until 1835 that immigrants in any numbers began to 
arrive at Wisconsin ports. This delay was due to several rea- 
sons. In the first place the Indian title was not extinguished 
until the autumn of 1833. After the Black Hawk War the 
Sauk and Foxes and the Winnebago were compelled that 
same autumn to cede all their lands south of the Fox- Wiscon- 
sin waterway ; the Menominee claims along the lower Fox and 
south to the Milwaukee River were purchased in October, 
1832. The allied tribes of the Ottawa, Chippewa, and Pota- 
watomi met in September, 1833 at a great treaty at Chicago 
and there sold all their lands west and south of Lake Michigan. 
This put at rest forever the Indian rights to all of southern 
Wisconsin. Following this, the United States in 1834 opened 
two land offices for the new cessions: one at Mineral Point, 
which began to enter land in November, the other at Green 
Bay, where entries were not possible until the spring of 1835. 

The other states of the Old Northwest had yet much good 
land to offer to intending immigrants. Ohio, Indiana, and 
Illinois were at this period in the midst of a rush into their 

17 Wis. Hist. Colls., XV, 454. 

The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848 


vacant territory. For instance Oberlin, Ohio, founded in 
1833, was then surrounded by a country still a wilderness. 
The years from 1830 to 1837 were those in which the northern 
and central portions of Indiana were compacted. The north- 
ern tier of counties in Illinois was not settled until after the 
Black Hawk War; and this region was the first to feel the 
impetus of immigration as the result of that event. 

Michigan was, however, Wisconsin's chief rival for the 
eastern emigrants. In 1824 there were but ten villages in 
all the region that afterwards became the state of Michigan. 
The next year the Erie Canal was completed, and, next to 
Cleveland, Detroit became the chief distributing point for 
new settlers pouring in from New England and New York. 
The same year the government finished a military road from 
Detroit to Chicago, and along this route the great bulk of 
westward travel passed. 18 

The spring of 1835 opened with a rush into the region 
that would soon become a new territory. Every steamboat 
arriving at Green Bay brought from the East speculators 
eager to secure possession of Wisconsin's fertile lands, mill 
sites, water powers, and future commercial centers. Bona 
fide settlers also came pouring in and soon outnumbered and 
outmaneuvered the land sharks; and the hitherto unbroken 
wilderness became dotted with rude cabin homes. The settlers 
of 1835 sought locations near the lake shore, those that 
promised future harbors and prosperous cities. Chief among 
these was Milwaukee, which had been for many years an 
important Indian trading post. Unlike Green Bay and 
Prairie du Chien, Milwaukee had no permanent French- 
Canadian population. In 1833 the huts of three traders were 
its only habitations. Chief among these traders was Solomon 
Juneau, who had settled at this point in 1818. He united with 

"Mathews, Lois K., The Expansion of New England (Boston, 1909), 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

Morgan L. Martin of Green Bay in 1834 to preempt the land 
east of Milwaukee River and lay out a town site. 

In 1834 Col. George H. Walker from Virginia took up 
the south point of Milwaukee harbor, ever since known as 
Walker's Point. No other permanent settlers came until 
1835. Then Byron Kilbourn platted a town site west of 
Milwaukee River, which was long a rival to Juneau's town. 
The first steamboat landed at Milwaukee in June of this 
year; and many of the substantial citizens who built up the 
metropolis made their advent in 1835. The county organiza- 
tion sufficed until 1835 when the villages of Milwaukee east 
of the river and Kilbourntown were organized with Juneau 
and Kilbourn, respectively, as presidents. These two organi- 
zations were united in 1838. 19 

Racine, also, was founded in 1835 by Gilbert Knapp, 
who was quickly followed by other preemptors. On the site 
of Kenosha agents for a New York Emigration company 
found claimants as early as March of the same year. The 
agents of this company thereupon began their settlement a 
mile farther north at the mouth of Pike River. By the 
autumn of 1835 several buildings had been erected at both 
places, and religious services held. 20 

North of Milwaukee a paper city was laid out by specula- 
tors at what is now Port Washington, then called Wisconsin 
City. This was expected to become the future metropolis of 
the territory. Sheboygan was platted by eastern investors 
during the last months of 1835; its first permanent settlers, 
however, did not arrive until the spring of 1836. The same 
was true of Manitowoc. 

While the lake ports were thus being occupied during 
1835 farms in the hinterland were also being opened. 
Waukesha, then called Prairieville, had settlers on its site as 

19 Mack, Edwin S., "The Founding of Milwaukee," in Wis. Hist. Soc. Pro- 
ceedings, 1906, 194-207. 

20 Wis. Hist. Colls., II, 450-56; III, 370-420. 

The Story of Wisconsin, 1 634-1848 


early as 1834. All but three of the present townships of 
Racine County were opened up with farms during 1835. 
The same season saw settlers in Kenosha, Salem, Somers, 
Pleasant Prairie, Brighton, Paris, Bristol, and Wheatland 
townships of the present Kenosha County. The southern 
townships of Milwaukee County were first settled in 1835; 
and what became the villages of Pewaukee, Mukwonago, and 
Muskego received their first settlers the same summer. Two 
or three groups of homeseekers in the late autumn of 1835 
crossed the country to the waters of Rock River; but only 
the beginning of a preemptor's log cabin near Janesville gave 
any sign of permanent settlement on that stream before 1836. 

That year saw the great influx into the new territory 
whose separation from Michigan was then an assured fact. 
Every steamboat coming around the lakes landed hundreds 
of prospectors at the ports. The stream of wagons passing 
overland from Detroit was almost continuous. Tavern 
accommodations were wholly inadequate; families camped on 
the wayside and slept in wagons, cooking their own provisions 
at numerous camp fires along the route. Arrived at the 
promised land the question of location became all important. 
Mechanics, builders, and small capitalists settled at the embryo 
towns. Intending farmers sought half- and quarter-sections 
along some stream or in the timber ; prairie land was liked by 
eastern immigrants because it was less difficult to clear than 
the heavily timbered sections. 

In 1836 the counties of Walworth, Jefferson, Rock, Fond 
du Lac, Sheboygan, and Manitowoc were opened up ; village 
sites were platted and town lots put upon the market. 
Speculation spread beyond the borders of the territory ; town 
lots in Wisconsin were sold at boom prices throughout the 
East. Eastern capitalists came out with funds to make large 
purchases from the land offices. The bona fide settlers, who 
iad come with small means to make permanent homes, took 
ilarm. A species of claimants' organization, begun at Pike 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

River in February, 1836 to arbitrate on rival claims, com- 
mended itself to the preemptors. The same summer the 
Milwaukee County Union was formed; 21 other counties 
quickly caught the idea of protective associations. By this 
means the actual settlers obtained their land at the govern- 
ment price of $1.25 an acre. Any speculator bidding against 
a settler was roughly handled. Nor could he secure redress 
by law, for no settlers' jury would decide in his favor. 
Wisconsin thus became populated by a small proprietor class, 
coming chiefly from New England and New York. These 
immigrants were largely descendants of seventeenth century 
Americans; they brought to Wisconsin the ideals and the 
purposes that had made successful the great commonwealths 
of the East. In their new western homes they built up 
American institutions and American homes that have formed 
the basis of the progress and prosperity of Wisconsin. 


In 1835 Michigan was ripe for statehood, and her 
admission to the Union seemed but a question of a few months. 
A call for a constitutional convention was issued; delegates 
met at Detroit in May of that year and provided a constitu- 
tion which was adopted by the people in October. It was so 
well understood that the portion of Michigan Territory west 
of the lake would be set off as a separate territory, that in 
August, 1835 an act was passed arranging for the election 
from the western portion of a Congressional delegate and of a 
legislative council to meet at Green Bay the first of January, 
1836. Several candidates appeared for the delegate's office, 
from among whom George Wallace Jones of Sinsinawa 
Mound was elected. He appeared in Congress as delegate 
from Michigan Territory, since Michigan, involved in a 
border difficulty with Ohio, was not yet admitted as a state 
in the Union. Likewise the legislative council that met at 
Green Bay was designated the Seventh Legislative Council 

81 Ibid., II, 472-76. 

The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848 


of Michigan Territory. This rump body, of which Col. 
William S. Hamilton was president, accomplished little; it 
passed resolutions condemning the absence of the acting 
governor, John Scott Horner, and adjourned at the end of a 
two weeks' session. 

Meanwhile the bill to establish a territorial government 
for Wisconsin was moving forward in Congress and was 
signed by President Jackson April 20, 1836. It provided for 
the organization of the territory on July 4 and for a census, 
which resulted in numbering 22,218 people in the territory, 
of which nearly one-half were west of the Mississippi River. 
The territory then comprised six counties, two of which lay 
beyond the Mississippi, leaving what is now Wisconsin 
divided into Brown, Crawford, Iowa, and Milwaukee 
counties. Wisconsin's population was sufficient to make her a 
territory of the third rank, fully equipped with an elected 
assembly and council and an appointed territorial court. Since 
it was the first territory organized under President Jackson's 
regime, its offices were much in demand. Wisconsin's 
inhabitants considered themselves fortunate in having Henry 
Dodge, long a resident among them, chosen for governor. 
The appointment of John Scott Horner as secretary was less 
acceptable ; the office was retained by the incumbent but a short 
time, William B. Slaughter being appointed by the president 
on February 16, 1837. The actual presence of the governor 
in the territory during nearly all of the twelve years of its 
existence rendered the office of territorial secretary a subordi- 
nate one. The other appointive officers were Charles Dunn, 
chief justice; William C. Frazer and David Irvin, associate 
justices; William W. Chapman, United States district 

The first legislature, composed of a council of thirteen 
members and an assembly of twenty-six, met October 25, 
1836 at Belmont in the mining region. Belmont was a 
"paper" town promoted by the new chief justice, Charles 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

Dunn, and located near the Platte Mounds in what is now 
Lafayette County. It arose like a balloon and like one 
collapsed with the departure of the capital. In 1836, how- 
ever, "the most extravagant plans and speculations were 
indulged in, while each individual appeared to feel a happy 
consciousness that wealth and honors were just within his 
grasp. Immense improvements were projected and dis- 
played in a most attractive manner upon paper in the shape of 
spacious hotels, boarding houses, princely mansions, and a 
capitol or legislative hall (the latter to be, of course, at the 
expense of 'Uncle Sam') in a style intended to eclipse all 
similar edifices in the country." 22 In contrast to these 
anticipations the site of Belmont is today covered by a farm- 

The location of the future capital was the chief subject 
that agitated the first legislature. Among all the promoters 
of the time, James D. Doty was the most successful ; and the 
site he had chosen between Third and Fourth lakes became 
that adopted for the future capital. It is charged that a 
judicious distribution among the legislators of lots in the 
coming town of Madison aided in securing the decision. Be 
this as it may, Belmont was soon deserted and the second 
session of the first legislature met at Burlington, in what is 
now Iowa. The second territorial legislature met in Madison 
on November 26, 1838. 

Preparations for a capitol building had been begun early 
in 1837. Before the snow had left the ground the Peck 
family had removed from Blue Mounds in order to provide a 
boarding place for the men engaged in its construction. 
Augustus A. Bird, the capitol commissioner, bought sawmill 
machinery in the East ; and early in the summer of 1837 it was 
landed from a steamboat at Milwaukee. Thence Bird's men 
cut a rude trace and hauled the machinery and supplies over- 
land, arriving in time to celebrate the Fourth of July in the 

22 Ibid., VI, 298-99. 

The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848 


woods of the new capital. Soon thereafter a quarry was 
opened at what is now Maple Bluff, and stone was brought 
across the lake in a scow. Amidst great difficulties the com- 
missioners struggled to be ready for the legislature. With 
all their efforts the building was unfinished, and the cold was 
so intense that in December of 1838 a month's recess was 
taken that accommodations might be improved. 

At this and succeeding sessions of the territorial legisla- 
tures internal improvements were the most important measures 
discussed. Numerous roads were ordered to be laid out, 
charters were granted for railroads that were never built, 
ferries were licensed, and dams permitted on unnavigable 
streams. The national government was petitioned for river 
and harbor improvements, for lighthouses and mail routes. 
Two large projects for waterways were vigorously promoted. 
These were the Milwaukee and Rock River Canal and the 
Fox-Wisconsin Improvement. The former was promoted 
by Milwaukee capitalists, the latter by those of Green Bay. 
Both projects secured land grants from Congress and both 
became seriously involved in political disputes. ISTo work of 
importance was ever done on the Rock River project; the 
canal at Portage and the water control of the lower Fox River 
are the results of the Fox- Wisconsin Improvement, which in 
1872 was taken over by the federal government. In fact the 
navigation of either route was possible only to light draft and 
small-sized craft that could never compete in modern times 
with the rail carriers. 

Other matters with which the territorial legislatures con- 
cerned themselves were the organization of counties and 
towns, the adjustment of local government, the adoption and 
revision of a legal code, and the chartering and investigating 
of banks. 


The growth of Wisconsin's population during the years 
of her territorial existence was phenomenal. In 1838 Con- 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

gress cut off the territory of Iowa and ordered a new census. 
The 11,683 of 1836 had in two years become 18,149. At the 
federal census of 1840 Wisconsin was found to contain 30,747 
people. Two years later the total was 46,678. The increase 
now accelerated, and by 1846 the population had nearly 
quadrupled, numbering (with reports from three sparsely 
populated counties missing) 155,277. In 1847 the official 
report was 210,546. 

Until after 1840 practically all the people dwelt south of 
the Fox-Wisconsin waterway. During the later years of the 
territorial period the upper Wisconsin, the upper Mississippi, 
and the shores of Green Bay began to be fringed with hamlets 
and farms. The first territorial legislature divided the four 
counties previously established by Michigan into fifteen. This 
number was almost doubled in twelve years, Wisconsin becom- 
ing a state with twenty-nine organized counties. 

Hand in hand with the growth of population went the 
increase of facilities for intercommunication. In 1832 there 
were four post routes for monthly mails. In 1836 the govern- 
ment let contracts for sixteen weekly mails. By 1838 the 
number was doubled; and on some routes biweekly and tri- 
weekly mails were ordered. The same year there were eighty 
postoffices within the territory. Ten years later the post- 
offices had become 286, and the contractors for mail routes 
numbered fifty-nine. 

The need of roads was considered by each successive 
territorial legislature. The United States spent during the 
territorial period $67,000 on military roads within our borders. 
Each legislature ordered the survey and opening of roads 
between various village centers. As an example of the 
progress made a Madison newspaper in 1842 says, "Five 
years ago there were but three houses on the one road between 
Madison and Milwaukee. There are now four roads, one of 
which passes through many of the best cultivated and most 
tastefully improved farms west of New York; nearly all of 

The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848 199 

which are owned and occupied by the industrious, enterpris- 
ing, and intelligent sons of New York and New England." 23 

None the less the territorial roads were very poor — at 
certain seasons almost impassable. At all seasons transporta- 
tion delays were probable; and the problem of moving men 
and goods was acute throughout all the territorial period. In 
1845 Governor Tallmadge recommended to the legislature 
the consideration of plank roads. These were, however, first 
undertaken by private enterprise. In 1846 the first plank toll 
road from Milwaukee to Lisbon was chartered; but not until 
the territory became a state did the plank road system 
ameliorate the wretched roads of early-day Wisconsin. 

Railroads were much discussed ; nine railways were incor- 
porated during the territorial epoch, but no rails were laid 
within the state until 1850. 

The earliest travelers went through the country on horse- 
back; the first immigrants came in by oxcarts. Prairie 
schooners and wagons of every type were drawn by horses or 
oxen, even cows being sometimes harnessed to light vehicles. 
In winter sleds and sleighs, particularly the long French 
"train" drawn by two horses tandem, replaced wheeled 

From private vehicles progress was soon made to stages. 
Before the organization of the territory there was but one 
stage line running from Galena to Mineral Point. By 1841 
stages crossed the territory weekly by two main routes from 
Green Bay to Mineral Point, and from Milwaukee via 
Madison to Galena. The trip to Madison took two days. By 
1848 a daily line of coaches ran from Milwaukee to Galena in 
three days, taking alternately the route through Troy, Janes- 
ville, and Shullsburg, and that through Waukesha, Madison, 
and Mineral Point. A branch ran from Janesville to Rock- 
ford and Dixon, Illinois, connecting with the Chicago stage. 
Another ran from Madison via Watertown and Fond du Lac 

"Keyes, E. W., History of Dane County (Madison, 1906), 114. 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

to Green Bay. Connections were made three times a week 
between Racine and Janesville, Kenosha (then Southport) 
and Madison. From Milwaukee north and south lines ran to 
Chicago and to Sheboygan. 24 

Along the stage routes and beside most of the territorial 
roads taverns of various degrees of excellence quickly sprang 
up. The earliest accommodations were log cabins, on the 
floors of which travelers spread their own blankets. By 1845 
Green Bay, Milwaukee, Madison, and some other towns had 
hostelries dignified by the name of hotels. 

During the territorial days land was the chief source of 
wealth. By 1838 the government had sold $1,378,766.73 
worth of land. In 1844 the assessed value of the real estate 
was $8,077,200.00. Nineteen-twentieths of Wisconsin's 
population lived on farms. The climate placing this region 
beyond the corn range, "hog and hominy" could not be 
depended upon for crops. Moreover the majority of the 
settlers from New York and New England were accustomed 
to raising grain. Wisconsin's virgin loam produced without 
fertilization the small grains, of which wheat was the most 
profitable. Wisconsin soon became a one-crop region. In 
1839, 212,166 bushels were produced from 15,151 acres. 
Barley, oats, and rye together totaled but 119,545 bushels. 
Wisconsin's product in her first year of statehood was 
4,286,131 bushels of wheat, making her the ninth in the wheat- 
producing states of the Union. 

The difficulty of transporting the crop grew with the 
distance from the lake shore. In 1839 the center of the wheat 
farms lay in Racine, Milwaukee, and Walworth counties. 
By the next decade the wheat growing center was in Rock, 
Jefferson, and Dodge counties. The price of freight from 
Watertown to Milwaukee ranged from ten to twenty cents 
per bushel. Within the next decade the marketing problems 
were lessened by the creation of plank roads and railroads. 

94 Wis. Hist. Soc. Proceedings, 1914, 132. 

The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848 


Next to the wheat and grain products the minerals of 
southwestern Wisconsin brought wealth. This, the oldest 
settled region, kept for a long time a distinct character allied 
to the south and southwest. Its population, however, was 
nearly stationary. The production of lead reached its great- 
est point by 1844 and thereafter declined. Agriculture in 
this region developed slowly, since titles to land could not be 
secured so long as there was mineral upon it. In 1842 Con- 
gress passed an act for the relief of such farmholders; some 
who had lived for twenty years upon their improvements then 
first secured titles. With the decline of mining the old 
frontier character of the mining region passed away. The 
shifting populace moved off to new centers, notably to Cali- 
fornia in 1848. About the middle of the forties the lines of 
transportation shifted. Lead began to be hauled to the lake 
board; by 1847 the bulk of the product crossed the territory 
in wagons drawn by six- and eight-yoke ox teams and was 
transshipped by steamer to the East. With this change in 
connections, the population of the southwestern portion of 
Wisconsin began to assimilate to the type of the remainder 
of the territory. The lead-mining region, however, has never 
quite overtaken the remainder of the state in enterprise and in 
the production of wealth. 

The lumbering industry began during the territorial era 
in several pineries that later became the scene of large opera- 
tions. The first sawmill on the upper Wisconsin was built at 
Point Bas in 1835. After the Menominee treaty of 1836 a 
fringe of sawmills quickly rose on the banks of the Wisconsin 
as far north as Wausau. Lumbering on Black River was 
begun as early as 1819; not until twenty years later was the 
first mill built upon that stream, when J. D. Spaulding pre- 
empted the Black River Falls. By 1844 lumber was run out 
into the Mississippi in considerable quantity. About the 
same time a few logs were cut upon the St. Croix and the 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

Chippewa, but the exploitation of these regions did not really 
begin until after 1848. 

The greatest need of the young territory was for capital. 
However, after the flush times of the first territorial years had 
culminated in the crash of 1837, great distrust was felt for all 
financial institutions. The suffering occasioned by the panic 
was greater in the new country than in the older regions. 
Everyone was in debt; the money in circulation was useless. 
Hundreds of families on the frontier lived entirely on potatoes 
and salt during the winter of 1837-38. The neighborliness 
and brotherhood of the frontier community showed itself in 
ways that alleviated much of the suffering. He who had, 
shared with his neighbor. Recovery from the panic of 1837 
was on the whole more rapid in the West than in the East; 
the good harvests, the land for all, the optimism in future 
prospects tended to restore confidence and to rebuild credit 
within the territory. It was long, however, before eastern 
capital overcame the distrust of Wisconsin occasioned by the 
panic of 1837. 

The dislike for instruments of credit endured throughout 
the territorial period. The very name of a bank was anath- 
ema. Every charter granted by the legislature, even that 
for a school or a church, contained a proviso that nothing in 
these provisions should be construed as a grant for banking 
privileges. This was due to the hard experience of the first 
two territorial years. The first legislature incorporated three 
banks for Dubuque, Mineral Point, and Milwaukee; one was 
already in existence at Green Bay. All these ultimately 
failed disastrously and thus prejudice was awakened against 
all banks. But while "the name is a bugbear they detest, the 
thing is a boon they need and welcome," so in 1839 the Wis- 
consin Marine and Fire Insurance Company was incorpor- 
ated with permission to receive money on deposit and lend 
the same at interest. This company, established in Milwau- 
kee and managed by the Scotch financier, Alexander Mitchell, 

The Story of Wisconsin, 1684-1848 


became one of the strongest financial institutions in the North- 
west and of untold value in developing the resources of the 
future state. 

Living conditions in the territory were hard but whole- 
some. The friendliness of the frontier manifested itself in 
valuable help for incoming neighbors. There was no sign of 
caste or class spirit. The needs of one were the opportunities 
of all. As a rule each family was a unit largely self-sufficing. 
When necessity arose for combined labor, it was accomplished 
by voluntary services called "bees," which were made the 
occasion of social recreation. The most important "bee" was 
that for cabin making. The logs were cut and trimmed 
beforehand, and people came for miles around to take part in 
the "raising." The proper space having been marked off, 
the logs were quickly rolled and laid in place, notched at the 
ends to hold firm. The roof was made of bark or "shakes," 
the floor of puncheons — logs split in two with the rounded 
side down. The interstices between the logs were chinked in 
with clay or mud and usually whitewashed both inside and 
out. Sometimes the entire cabin was made without the use 
of nails. A blanket was used for a door until a board one 
could be made. Windows were covered with shutters; but 
few had in them any glass. The most important part of the 
structure was the chimney, which sometimes occupied all one 
side of the cabin. This was commonly built of small stones 
and clay, although sticks occasionally took the place of stones. 
Into this capacious fireplace great logs were hauled, some- 
times by the help of a horse, to keep the family warm in the 
severe Wisconsin winters. Almost all the immigrants from 
the older states brought with them furniture, cooking utensils, 
linen for table and beds, and some store of quilts and clothing. 
Additional furniture was quickly provided by the handy skill 
of the men and boys. Bedsteads were improvised with one 
side fastened between the logs. Ticks were filled with straw 
I or hay, and most housewives brought with them a cherished 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

feather bed. Food was seldom scarce. The "truck patch" 
quickly furnished vegetables, while the woods and streams 
abounded with fish and game. Deer were easily obtained, 
and plenty of smaller animals and game birds were within 
reach of a gun. Flour was often lacking because of the 
difficulties of going to mill. Hand mills and wooden pestles 
and mortars were often resorted to for temporary supplies 
of pounded meal. 

Tools and implements were precious, one settler having 
to go all the way to Chicago to replace a lost ax. Except the 
ax and hammer, tools were freely borrowed and lent; agricul- 
tural implements were almost common property. One grind- 
stone usually served a considerable community. The repair 
shop of the village blacksmith was a great convenience for 
isolated settlers, who had before his coming made long jour- 
neys to replace and repair their tools. Men assisted one 
another not only at house raisings, but at ploughing and 
harvesting, clearing land and grubbing stumps, fencing, and 
planting. Sickness, death, and marriage were community 
affairs. Everyone lent a helping hand, and any skill or 
ability he possessed was at the service of the neighbors. 

Amusements were rude and promiscuous. Dancing was 
much favored, except among the religious people. Taverns 
were utilized for dances, and good music was produced from 
the cherished "fiddle." Singing schools were frequent, and a 
good singing teacher was much in demand. Relaxation from 
the stern realities of life came chiefly through religious ser- 
vices. Sunday was kept as a rest day by common consent; 
pioneer preachers came into the territory among its earliest 

In point of time the Catholics were the first missionaries 
in preterritorial Wisconsin. A Trappist monk from Illinois 
visited Prairie du Chien in 1817; the first church building was 
completed at Green Bay in 1825. In 1835 an Austrian priest, 
Father Baraga, built a chapel on Madeline Island. The first 

The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-184-8 


German Catholic missionary arrived at Milwaukee in 1842; 
two years later a bishopric was established at Milwaukee whose 
first incumbent was Bishop Henni. Under his care parishes 
were organized in all the larger towns of the territory and 
in many country communities. 

The Episcopalians in 1822 began Indian mission work at 
Green Bay where Eleazer Williams, who later claimed to be 
the lost dauphin of France, accompanied the New York 
Indians to their Wisconsin homes. In 1827 a large school for 
Indian youth was built at Green Bay; the same year at the 
same place Christ Episcopal Church was organized. The 
Reverend Jackson Kemper, in 1835 consecrated missionary 
bishop for the Northwest, speedily organized parishes at 
Milwaukee, Racine, and Kenosha, and in 1841 founded 
Nashotah Seminary. In 1848 there were twenty-three clergy- 
men, twenty-five parishes, and about a thousand communi- 
cants in Wisconsin. 

The Methodist itinerants appeared early in the lead- 
mining region where the first class was organized in 1832. 
The same year Father John Clark was appointed missionary 
to Green Bay; while furthering Indian missions he also 
established classes among the American people. Preaching 
service was held in Milwaukee from 1835 onward; the first 
church was built in 1841. In 1848 Wisconsin Conference 
was organized with four districts, fifty-seven churches, sixty- 
two preachers, and nearly ten thousand members. 

The first Congregational service was held at Fort Howard 
in 1820 by the Reverend Jedediah Morse of the American 
Board for Foreign Missions. This society and the American 
Home Missionary Society supported Indian missions on Fox 
River and Chequamegon Bay. At the latter place the mission 
church antedated the Catholic mission, and still preserved 
is doubtless the oldest church building in Wisconsin. Work 
among the miners was begun in 1829; three of the six mem- 
bers of the first church at Galena in 1831 lived at Mineral 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

Point. By 1840 there were eight Presbyterian and eight 
Congregational churches in the territory, and a union was 
formed for a common association that lasted for ten years. 
In 1850 the association had 4,286 members in 111 churches, of 
which 83 were organized Congregationally. 

The Baptists began work at Kenosha among the earliest 
pioneers. About the year 1836 societies were formed at Mil- 
waukee and Waukesha. Delavan was a temperance colony 
of Baptists from New York, and there was built in 1841 the 
first church edifice. The first convention met at this church 
in 1844 when 1,500 members were reported. By 1850 there 
were in the state Baptist convention 64 churches, 52 pastors, 
and 3,198 members. 

Higher education within the territory was considered the 
function of the religious bodies. Numbers of academies and 
institutes were chartered, all to be placed under private or 
denominational control. Few of these attained true collegiate 
rank until the period of statehood. Prairieville Academy 
became in 1846 Carroll College; Beloit College laid the 
foundation of its first college building in 1847, and five 
students entered the freshman class that autumn; Lawrence 
Institute was projected in 1846, chartered in 1847, and opened 
its doors for pupils in September, 1848. Milton Academy 
was later raised to collegiate grade ; and Platteville Academy 
laid the foundation for the first normal school. The only real 
public high school during the territorial period was that 
founded in 1847 by the efforts of I. A. Lapham at Milwaukee. 

Elementary schools developed very slowly during the 
territorial period. Until 1839 there was no provision by law 
for any school equipment except that authorized under the 
Michigan statutes. One small public school was begun in 
Milwaukee in 1837 under the latter's provisions. In 1845, 
however, there was not a true public school in Milwaukee. 
The district school law of 1839 was very inadequate; the idea 
of tax-supported education had many and powerful oppo- 

The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848 


nents. In 1845 a free public school was organized at Kenosha, 
and under the stimulus of Michael Frank of that city a bill 
was put through the legislature of that year authorizing public 
taxation for educational purposes. This law acted as a 
powerful stimulus to the erection of schools. Milwaukee's 
school system was begun in 1846; by 1848 there were five 
public school buildings "equal to anything in New York, 
Boston, or Albany." The state constitution adopted in 1848 
provided that "district schools shall be free, and without 
charge for tuition to all children between the ages of four 
and twenty years." 25 

Reform movements in the territory were numerous. 
Many of the early settlers came west imbued with the hope 
of promoting reforms on virgin soil. Among such were the 
Phoenix brothers, founders of Delavan, who with every 
transfer of a town lot provided that no liquor should ever be 
sold thereon. A temperance society was also organized 
among the earliest settlers. Walworth County had a county 
temperance society in 1839; Kenosha was an early leader in 
the same movement. In 1841 the Walworth County society 
secured the first liquor law from the legislature, exempting 
millers from compulsory service for distilleries. Local option 
laws were also passed during the territorial period. Several 
temperance orders or brotherhoods, such as the "Washing- 
tonians" and "Sons of Temperance," had chapters in terri- 
torial Wisconsin. 

Antislavery ideas flourished strongly in early-day Wis- 
consin. Henry Dodge and the Gratiot brothers came to this 
region from Missouri to escape from slavery. They brought 
with them family servants whom they liberated after a certain 
term of service. In Racine and Walworth counties there 
was a strong Liberty party element eager for political action. 
In 1843 a candidate of that party was named for Congres- 
sional delegate; and two newspapers, the Aegis at Racine. 

86 Wis. Hist. Colls., V, 342. 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

and the American Freeman at Waukesha, appeared. The 
latter became the party organ and was ably edited for several 
years by Ichabod Codding and C. C. Sholes. The same year, 
1843, antislavery votes elected the sheriff for Milwaukee and 
the next year defeated the Whig candidate in Walworth 
County. The vote grew with the election of each Congres- 
sional delegate until in 1849 Charles Durkee of Wisconsin 
became the first Liberty party man to sit in the House of 
Representatives. Suffrage for negroes was defeated by a 
referendum in 1847 ; but the vote of 7,664 in favor of the 
measure shows the strength of antislavery sentiment in the 

Communistic sentiment was strong during the period of 
the forties several cooperative colonies were organized in 
Wisconsin. Of these, the most noteworthy was the Wiscon- 
sin Phalanx, founded at Kenosha in 1844. This Fourierite 
community built Ceresco at the present Ripon and maintained 
itself until 1850. English cooperative communities selected 
Wisconsin as the site of their experiments. Some followers 
of Robert Owen founded North Prairie in Waukesha County, 
and a Utilitarian Society settled in Mukwonago. A British 
Temperance Emigration Society was founded in 1843 at 
Liverpool. This was a philanthropic rather than a communal 
enterprise, but shareholders were entitled to privileges secured 
by united action. Lawrence Heyworth, a wealthy philan- 
thropist, was president and came in person to Wisconsin to 
promote the enterprise. The 1,600 acres of land purchased 
lay in western Dane and eastern Iowa counties ; thereon many 
English mechanics and farm laborers were settled as a result 
of the movement. A Mormon colony was for some time 
settled at Voree in Walworth County. Thus Wisconsin had 
her share of enthusiasts seeking to found Utopias in her midst. 

(To be continued) 


William F. Whyte 

I am requested to write a short narrative of my experiences 
n army service as a contract officer. The experiences of a 
nedical officer of an army are as a rule in the highest degree 
mromantic. I have not been enough of a soldier to boast of 
ny achievements. I cannot shoulder my crutch and show 
iow fields are won, but I will attempt to tell how a man with 
i desire to serve a great cause can do his duty and be as 
iseful as if he carried a rifle or handled a machine gun. When 
var with Germany was declared I wrote to the surgeon 
general's office offering my services and received the reply 
;hat I was beyond the age of commission. Three months later 
[ applied again with the same result. I foresaw that there 
would be a great demand for medical officers and if volunteers 
lid not come forward to meet the wants of the rapidly mobiliz- 
ng army, it might be found necessary to let down the bars 
md admit men to the medical service who were over age of 
commission (fifty-five), if they were found to be profession- 
illy and physically qualified. My guess was a good one, for 
:he surgeon general, who is certainly a high class man and 
patriotically desired to do his whole duty in putting into the 
field a physically perfect army, found that there were not 
enough well-trained men among the medical recruits to act as 
tuberculosis examiners. Reserve officers in large numbers 
were being trained for that service, but until there should be 
i sufficient number to meet the demand the surgeon general 
isked a number of the life insurance companies to propose 
he names of their experienced examiners who could be called 
)n for a few months to fill the gap. 

My name was proposed to the War Department in Sep- 
ember, and on November 1, I was ordered to Fort Benjamin 


William F. Whyte 

Harrison for a short preliminary training. I might say her< 
that the regular army officers did not favor this method ol 
filling up the ranks of the service with contract men, and ] 
was told soon after reaching Fort Harrison that I must b< 
prepared to be snubbed by the camp surgeons, who were read} 
to make themselves disagreeable and if possible demonstrat< 
to the contract officer that he was an unnecessary factor in th< 
army. If I had known that the M. O. T. C. ( Medical Officers 
Training Camp) at Fort Harrison was a try-out affair a; 
well as a training camp, my enthusiasm might have receivec 
a setback at the beginning of my service. I was told a1 
Washington by Colonel Bruns when I asked him why mj 
contract read "for thirty days" that it was only a form. Some 
of my colleagues found that it was a reality, for at the enc 
of thirty days they were ordered home. In my class at Fori 
Benjamin Harrison there were eight contract officers; twc 
were ordered to Camp Custer at the end of the period; the 
remainder got their orders to go home at government expense 
Fort Benjamin Harrison was a M. O. T. C. ; in addition there 
were about three thousand recruits from the national arm) 
in training. The men had been in camp two months, and as 1 
watched their evolutions I said to an acquaintance, "I don'1 
believe the German army can produce the equal of those 
fellows." I had seen the Potsdam garrison, the flower of the 
Prussian army, at Berlin thirty years before, and the Prussian 
soldiers always impressed me as well drilled machines without 
spirit or initiative. 

I went to headquarters to report. While there I met Cap- 
tain Stoll, one of the instructors. I asked him if I could get a 
good room in the barracks. I had an inkling of the hardships 
which to a young fellow might seem hardly worth noticing, 
but to a man over sixty-five were matters for serious con- 
sideration. He smilingly replied, "Why, Doctor, we will give 
you a room and bath." I was directed to Barracks No. 3 and 
told that I might sleep in that particular shanty, but would 

Observations of a Contract Surgeon 211 

have to furnish my own cot and bedding. There were in all 
forty occupants of the barracks. I bought an army cot and 
mattress and borrowed some quilts from the quartermaster 
until my bedding should arrive. I had never slept on such a 
contraption before and by 4 a. m. I was wide awake and 
anathematizing the hard spots in my mattress. When reveille 
sounded at six o'clock I got up with the alacrity of youth and 
seizing my wash basin and towel made a rush for the bath 
room (eighteen showers) a hundred yards away. After a 
tiasty rub I managed to get dressed by the time the breakfast 
bell rang at six-thirty. In the mess room at Fort Benjamin 
Harrison, if you brought your manners with you, the chances 
tvere that you would go away hungry. I took note of the 
situation in about one minute. I will not say how fast or 
iow much I ate; a country doctor after forty years' experi- 
ence, who has a good digestion, becomes what David Harum 
2alls "a good feeder." I did my best and left the mess table 
with my hunger appeased. 

The tuberculosis branch of the training camp numbered 
about thirty or forty medical officers of whom eight, like 
myself, were in service by contract. The two instructors, 
Major Hoyt of Philadelphia and Captain Stoll of Hartford, 
were high class men. Their duties consisted in instructing the 
men in the army method of chest examination and incidentally 
In finding out if a man knew enough about physical diagnosis 
to measure up to the requirements of the service. I had been 
mt of practice for four years and felt rather timid, but in a 
lay or two I gained confidence. I found some of the men 
vere weaker than myself. It was intensive work — six hours 
laily — with the evening taken up by study. I did not have 
nuch time to worry about my future. Still, I was greatly 
I'elieved when I received orders to go to Camp Custer. It was 
ertainly a matter for self -congratulation, that an old fellow 
vho might be called rusty through lack of practice was 
leemed qualified to act as a tuberculosis examiner in the army. 


William F. Whyte 

The contract surgeon ranks as first lieutenant only, wit] 
no chance for promotion. No quarters are assigned hin 
unless he is on active duty in foreign service or in a trainin| 
camp; and he has no right to claim pension for disease o 
injury contracted in the service. The knowledge also that h 
is to a certain extent looked down on as an inferior by som 
young fellow who is proud of his lieutenant's bars and hi 
uniform makes the position of the contract officer the revers 
of agreeable. The feeling, however, that he is serving a grea 
cause is a solace that makes his life endurable. One noble ol< 
fellow, a doctor from Minnesota, aged sixty-nine, was heart 
broken when he was ordered home. He was full of patrioti 
zeal and had tried to enlist as a private when war was declared 
He was very happy at the prospect of being in the medica 
service and told of his grandson who was in the army in th< 
South and what a joy it would be if he could be ordered t< 
serve in the same camp. It was my good fortune to go t( 
a camp where my son was stationed as a lieutenant in th< 
310th Engineers. I wired my wife to meet me there. 

Camp Custer is beautifully located five miles from Battl< 
Creek, Michigan. The camp was on a high ridge surroundec 
by marshy land, an ideal situation from a sanitary standpoint 
A fine asphalt road and a cheap jitney service rendered it sc 
accessible that several hundred army officers' families lived ir 
Battle Creek. The trolley service between the camp and th( 
town was also prompt and reasonable in price. 

My wife soon engaged pleasant rooms in Battle Creek 
and although work in the camp was strenuous, my colleagues 
were pleasant fellows, and the homecoming every afternoor 
was the reverse of disagreeable. The only drawback to th< 
life of the camp was the thought which would come into 
mind every day that I was examining men to ascertaii 
whether they were fit to be shot by German snipers. 

The winter of 1917-18 was extremely cold in Michigan! 
Some of the army officers thought it would toughen the men t' 

Observations of a Contract Surgeon 213 

have them drill and go on hikes in the severest weather; the 
result was frozen faces, fingers, and feet. The regimental 
surgeons protested to the commandant against such inhuman- 
ity, but were told to mind their own business. When, how- 
ever, the martinet at the head of the camp was threatened with 
an appeal to Washington there was a right-about face and the 
men were not ordered out except when the surgical staff 
approved. To make a man stand guard for two hours over 
a mule or a truck when the thermometer registered twenty 
below zero may have been in accordance with army regula- 
tions, but it conflicted with common sense and humanity. 

We were told at Fort Benjamin Harrison by Major Hoyt 
that fifty examinations would be considered a day's work; 
after a few weeks we found that a man was considered 
inefficient if he could not make seventy-five in one day. The 
President of the Board, which usually consisted of twelve 
members, wanted to make a good record in the surgeon 
general's office, and so we were urged to speed up as rapidly 
as was consistent with accuracy of diagnosis. I will describe 
the method followed at Camp Custer, although we were com- 
pelled afterwards to modify it to a certain extent. The men 
were brought to the base hospital, one hundred at a time. An 
orderly gave them instruction as to how to breathe and cough 
when they came before the examiners. They were stripped 
to the waist and the examiner applied his stethoscope in 
twenty different places on the chest, the soldier breathing and 
coughing meanwhile. (Hand before your mouth; breathe 
in, breathe out, and cough, was the method. ) Three minutes 
was the time allowed for the examination of the normal chest, 
including the heart. 

When an abnormality was detected the examiner referred 
the case to his associate, who occupied the same room. If he 
also found the same lesion, the case was referred to the captain 
of the Board. If the lesion was a serious one the man was 
sent to the Superior Board which consisted of three examiners, 


William F. Whyte 

who S. C. D.'d him (marked him for discharge from the 
army) . If the disease was slight, the man was not sent to 
the Superior Board but was ordered to return in ten days, 
when all the "come backs," as they were called, were examined 
by the whole board. This was a different proposition from 
examining a patient in the doctor's office. People who come 
there are sick, or think they are. These were men who had 
all been passed on by local boards; none of them knew or 
thought anything was the matter with their lungs or hearts. 
I frequently made the remark to my colleagues, "How could 
this man pass a board?" His unfitness for any army service 
was so apparent. I have been led to believe that the local 
examiners passed many "no goods," thinking that they might 
possibly get by the camp tuberculosis examiners, and thus the 
community would be rid of an undesirable. 

The acid test was "activity." If there was a minute area 
of active disease in the upper lobe of either lung, the man was 
rejected without hesitation; but if either lung showed a tuber- 
cular deposit in a quiescent condition, he was allowed to go 
through unless the area involved was too large. As Colonel 
Bushnell, the head of the tuberculosis work in the army, him- 
self a victim of chronic tuberculosis, said, "These men may 
outlive any of you." It is a well-known fact proved by post- 
mortem statistics, that a large majority of those people who 
die of other ailments have had tuberculosis some time in their 
life. Physical appearances were often very deceptive. A 
skinny little chap in spite of his appearance would be found 
to have normal lungs, while a stalwart muscular giant would 
be found with active disease. The heaviest man I examined in 
the army — a Brooklyn recruit who weighed two hundred 
forty-nine pounds — had a well-marked cicatrized cavity in his 
upper left lobe. He had no doubt been a long-time patron of 
those widely advertised and well-known citizens of New York, 
George Ehret, or Jack Ruppert, who are now engaged in the 
manufacture of two and three-fourths' per cent beer. He was 

Observations of a Contract Surgeon 215 

no doubt discharged from the service, as a man in his condition 
would soon break down under the strenuous discipline of army 

The daily grind at Camp Custer was from 8 to 11 :30 a. m., 
and from 1 :30 to 4 or 5 p. m. just as the men were brought in 
for examination. With the methods prescribed there we 
found that examining seventy-five men was a heavy day's 
work. The officers came in hit or miss ; they were allowed to 
undress in the examiner's room, while the privates took off 
their clothes in the hallway and came in by number. 

From twenty-one thousand six hundred forty recruits 
examined at Camp Custer we rejected ninety-six for tuber- 
culosis. Three hundred were held in reserve for future 
observation as they showed quiescent lesions or what is called 
fibrosis. One hundred thirty-eight were rejected for heart 
disease, and two hundred were held up for other chest defects. 
One of our Board with a mathematical turn of mind found 
that it cost Uncle Sam thirty cents a head for tuberculosis 
examinations. A Canadian medical expert has recently 
estimated that every case of tuberculosis who went to France 
and was sent home for treatment cost the Canadian govern- 
ment $5,250. Thus the importance of trained tuberculosis 
examiners can easily be understood. A man in the service 
with tuberculosis is not only a source of infection but a dead- 
weight and a drag on the army. 

As our work was coming to a close, the President of our 
Board said one morning, "I want five of you gentlemen to 
go with me to headquarters to examine the higher officers," 
and called for volunteers. I said that I would as soon examine 
a colored boy as a colonel. He afterwards told an amusing 
story of his experience with the commanding general. The 
General said to him, "Major, I suppose that I will have to be 

The Major replied, "That is the order from the surgeon 
general's office." 


William F. Whyte 

"Well, it is all damned nonsense. I was examined at 
Washington three months ago." 

"Very well," said the Major, "I will have to report you 
as not examined." 

The General took off his jacket and pulled up his shirt 
and said gruffly, "Now you can examine me." 

"You will have to take your shirt off," said the Major. 

"Damned if I will," snarled the General, walking up and 
down the room. 

The Major waited until he caught the irate officer's 
eye, saluted, and quietly walked out. The next day he 
received a telephone call from headquarters asking when it 
would be convenient for him to come down and examine 

General . An ambulance would be sent for him. He 

was most courteously received when he reached headquarters, 
and the General submitted to be examined according to regu- 
lations. The Major told us afterwards : "I want you, gentle- 
men, to remember this, for when you are on your ground 
stand by the army regulations regardless of the rank of any 
man who may be your superior officer." 

We examined one day six hundred men from the officers' 
training camp who had fallen down at the first camp and got 
their commissions after several months' subsequent training. 
The major at the head of our Board said to me afterwards, 
"God help the United States of America if that is the kind of 
stuff they are going to make officers of." A large proportion 
of them might properly be called culls. However, the young 
fellows aspiring to commissions whom we examined at Camp 
Dix were certainly high class men. I do not believe that 
their superiors could have been found in any army in the 

I have said that I got the impression that the local boards 
sent unfit men into the service with the idea of getting rid of 
the "no goods" in the community. That policy met with no 
success, as a man who had to undergo the careful scrutiny of 

Observations of a Contract Surgeon 


nine examining boards was sure to be caught somewhere if he 
had any serious physical or mental defect. I have no doubt 
but that the American army was superior to that of any of the 
other warring nations, as we had not at any time a shortage of 
man power and therefore it was not necessary to accept any 
man below the army standard. 

Occasionally a line officer would interfere and try to exert 
his influence against the decision of the examiners. I remem- 
ber a case at Camp Custer where my associate found activity 
in the upper lobe of the left lung in what is called "Kronigs 
isthmus/' I confirmed his diagnosis. The captain was called 
in; he agreed with us, and the man was sent to the Superior 
Board and marked for rejection. He had been twenty years 
in the army and was very indignant when he perceived that 
we were not going to pass him. He said he had merely a 
cold which he had contracted by being moved from Mexico 
to Michigan. He had been a soldier in the "pacifist" war 
which our country had been conducting on the border the year 
before. The next week he returned with a new service record. 
We asked him how he got it. He replied, "My colonel don't 
believe you doctors. He says I have only a bad cold." He 
was marked for rejection but came again with a new record. 
After his third rejection we were told that he was the colonel's 
pet and an excellent man to take care of horses. When he 
came back the fourth time he had no papers but begged for 
another examination. I said to him "My boy, the govern- 
ment will take good care of you and send you to a sanitarium 
in New Mexico. You tell your colonel that he can't put it 
over any tuberculosis examiner in the army ; under no condi- 
tion will you be allowed to go overseas with your regiment." 
I was sorry for him as he was an Irishman, full of fight, and 
anxious, as he said, to get a shot at the "German devils." 

The last week in January saw the finish of the work in 
Camp Custer. When I first went into the service I expected 
that I would not be needed more than three or four months 


William F. Whyte 

for the line of work I had engaged to do. When we had 
examined all the recruits in Camp Custer the officers in the 
medical reserve looked forward to a transfer; and I antici- 
pated an order to go home. The experiment of employing 
contract surgeons from civil life had not proved a success. 
The medical men who went into the service for an indefinite 
time found the work hard, the environment unpleasant, the 
pay unremunerative, and after a few months the majority of 
them sent in their contracts to [Washington for cancellation. 
I was told by the president of the Tuberculosis Board that 
if I would agree to stay in the service until the end of the 
war I would be ordered to Camp Greenleaf, Georgia, for 
instruction. Between the first and second drafts there was a 
lull in the work of examining recruits and the surgeon general 
thought it best to keep the examiners busy at the line of work 
they had been engaged in, so they were sent to various training 
camps in the South. My orders to Camp Greenleaf came on 
February 1. Anxious to leave a land of ice and snow we took 
the train at once for Chicago and then the "Dixie Flyer" (a 
misnomer) to Chattanooga. It was a happy change from a 
temperature of ten degrees below zero to the opening of a 
southern spring in forty-eight hours. Camp Greenleaf is 
located on the site of the battle field of Chickamauga and also 
on the exact spot where Chickamauga Camp was. located 
during the Spanish American war. The great advance in 
sanitation since that time had revolutionized conditions and 
the canip, instead of being a breeding place for infections 
"without a microscope or a test tube," was strictly sanitary in 
all its appointments. 

While at Camp Custer I had been advised by some of my 
colleagues to apply for a commission in the reserve, but the 
longer I served in the army the more pleased I was that my 
application was rejected. The contract officer does not sleep 
on a bed of roses, but he has much more freedom than is 

Observations of a Contract Surgeon 219 

allowed the regular army officer, and my rank in the service 
made life much easier for me. 

When I reported at Camp Greenleaf, the young lieuten- 
ant who wrote down my personnel in the registry said, "You 
can put your cot in that corner, Lieutenant." 

"I am not going to sleep here," I replied. "I am going to 
stay in Chattanooga with my wife." 

"But you must stay in the barracks," he answered. "No 
one is allowed sleep out without a pass. It is tighter than hell 

"I don't care how tight it is," I returned. "I am beyond 
the age of commission, and if I sleep in that barracks I'll get 
what you call pneumococcus bronchitis and die, and I don't 
propose to die in the service unless it is necessary." 

"You will have to get a permit then." 

"Very well," I said, "fill out an application and I will 
sign it." 

I got the permit next morning. In a few minutes a 
sergeant approached me and said, "Lieutenant Colonel 
Beardsley wishes to speak to you. You will find him in that 
tent," pointing down the hill. 

I went to the Colonel's tent and asked him what he wanted 
to see me about. 

He said, "I will examine you physically today and 
medically tomorrow." 

"I think not, Colonel," I answered. "I am a contract 
officer. I have already served in two camps and have been 
passed on medically at Fort Benjamin Harrison. I don't 
think that you need to take up any time with me." 

"I rather think you are right, Lieutenant, and I will excuse 
you," was the reply. I was known in the camp in a few days 
as the man who did as he darn pleased. I inquired for Major 
Nichols, the head of the tuberculosis instructors, and next day 
became a member of his class. 


William F. Whyte 

I found that eight of my colleagues on the Board at Camp 
Custer who had preceded me to Camp Greenleaf had been 
engaged in the pleasant occupation of drilling in the Georgia 
mud. One of them, a fine fellow from Iowa, said to me, "My 
patriotism is all gone, and I am completely tired out." When 
I called on Colonel Page, the camp commandant, to get a 
permit to attend Major Nichols' class I told him who I was 
and where I had been. I said, "What do you think, Colonel? 
They told me I would have to drill here." 

He broke into a hearty laugh. "Major, old fellows like 
you and I don't have to drill in this camp. That is damned 

I told him that my colleagues who had been drilled and 
trained at Fort Benjamin Harrison and who had been ex- 
amining recruits at Camp Custer for several months were 
also drilling. 

"Give me their names and I will see that they get some- 
thing else to do besides drilling." 

Colonel Page was a regular army officer, and his shoulder 
straps did not cause any swelling of his head such as we often 
noticed in officers of the national army. 

Major Estes Nichols is a distinguished member of the 
medical profession and a well-known authority in New Eng- 
land on tuberculosis. He was very popular as a teacher, as 
was Major Good Kind of Chicago, who gave instruction in 
cardio vascular diseases. Captain Keltie of Philadelphia 
was the lecturer on pathology and an eloquent and impressive 

Within a few days after my arrival at Camp Greenleaf 
I found one of the main reasons for the pneumococcus bron- 
chitis which was so prevalent. The barracks were only 
shanties, built on posts as a foundation; the heating appara- 
tus consisted of small stoves which required two men and a 
boy to "keep them in action." The medical officers would go 
out on a two hours' drill through the mud, one hundred twenty 

Observations of a Contract Surgeon 


steps per minute, and then with no opportunity to change 
their wet underwear would be compelled to sit in a cold 
barracks and listen to a lecture. A good friend of mine from 
Madison, a major in the service, went to the infirmary within 
a few days as a result of this discipline and was transferred to 
the hospital for several weeks to recover from an attack of 

The medical staff of the base hospital at Fort Oglethorpe 
was insufficient in numbers and I gathered from what I saw 
in the wards (and the morgue) that some of the attending 
surgeons were not very strong on diagnosis. When a medical 
man cannot diagnose as common a complication of pneumonia 
as empyema until the subject reaches the post-mortem table, 
he does not deserve to rank high as a practitioner, whether in 
the army or in civil life. This is a painful subject, and I will 
not go more into detail as criticism at this late day will not 
accomplish any good. One finds in the army that it is the 
proper thing to keep silent but when a man has lived over 
sixty years in the world and has been in the habit of expressing 
his opinion on all subjects, it is rather trying to be compelled 
to keep quiet when he feels like denouncing incompetence. A 
friend of mine who had been fifteen years in the medical ser- 
vice told me that the only way to play the army game is to do 
as you are told by your superior officers and hold your tongue. 
A man who has an opinion of his own and expresses it does 
nothing but make trouble for himself. In the bosom of your 
family it is not always the part of wisdom to express a differ- 
ence of opinion; in Uncle Sam's army it is the height of 

At Camp Custer and at Fort Benjamin Harrison the 
recruits we examined for admission to the service were men 
of fit quality for the making of first-class soldiers. When 
the physically unfit had been weeded out by the examining 
board, I do not think that finer material for an army could 
have been found in the world. Both the Huns and the Allies 


William F. Whyte 

were compelled to make use of every man who could march 
or carry a gun but we had the choice of the young manhood 
of America. Quite different were my impressions when I 
reached Camp Greenleaf and came in contact with the 
Southern cracker. The curse of slavery, the lack of the school- 
house, hookworm and malaria, all have left their influence on 
the Southern boy of today. That the Civil [War lasted four 
years can only be accounted for by the bravery of the Con- 
federate soldier. That the men of the Southland fought like 
heroes cannot be denied; and they did so because it was in 
their blood. 

I have spoken of the unnecessary drilling to which the 
medical officers were compelled to submit. Among the medi- 
cal officers whose duties consisted of examining the lungs 
and hearts of the recruits there was a pronounced feeling that 
serious and often permanent damage was done by ignorant 
drillmasters to boys who had not been accustomed to strenu- 
ous physical exercise. In conversation one day with a promi- 
nent Philadelphia heart specialist on this subject he expressed 
himself emphatically on what he called the stupidity of the 
army regulations. He told me that one day in August on 
the parade ground at Fort Oglethorpe he saw some recruits 
drilled for two hours without a drop of water to drink with 
the thermometer at 100 in the shade. He denounced the 
practice of taking boys who had been clerks in stores and 
bookkeepers and putting them through the same drill which 
was required of lumbermen and farmers and athletes. He 
said that undoubtedly many cases of organic heart lesions 
would be developed by such senseless procedure. I am sure 
that some of the medical officers over forty-five suffered per- 
manent injury by drilling when compelled to keep step with 
men of half their age on the parade ground. 

One day at Camp Greenleaf I met a New England offi- 
cer. I said to him, "Captain, what are you doing here?" 

He replied, "I am drilling." 

Observations of a Contract Surgeon 223 

"How do you stand it?" I asked. 

"I don't stand it. I pant like a dog when we are through. 
They put some of those long legged boys in the front rank 
and I have to keep up with them." 

I told him that at his age (fifty-three) he was laying the 
foundation for heart disease in the future. At Camp Dix I 
became well acquainted with a medical officer fifty years old, 
from Tennessee. On the way home one evening I said to 
him, "Captain, you act blue tonight." 

He replied, "I have the blues ; I have been told that I have 
a presystolic murmur, and I am going to be S. C. D'd. I 
was perfectly well when I passed my examination for en- 
trance into the service and I now am thrown into the discard. 
I gave up my practice and now I have to go back home and 
every enemy I have will point his finger at me as long as I 
live as a man whom Uncle Sam did not consider as compe- 
tent for army service." 

I have no doubt that his heart lesion had been developed 
by his strenuous exercise. Blundering on the part of "swivel 
chair artists" in Washington had done him a rank injustice. 

The old saying that a man should not run after forty is 
a true one. The heart muscle begins to change between 
forty-five and fifty and a man who indulges in strenuous and 
unwonted exertion after that time is sure to pay the penalty. 
One of the most famous surgeons in the United States died 
from heart dilation as the result of mountain climbing in 
South America. The authorities in Washington are, no 
doubt, responsible for shortening the lives of many patriotic 
men who volunteered to serve their country and were com- 
pelled to endure unnecessary hardships which they did not 
dream of or were in no way fitted for when they entered 
the service. Fifty-five was the age limit and the War De- 
partment accepted men up to that age and drilled them as if 
they were boys. 


William F. Whyte 

The hygiene of the camps where it was my fortune to 
serve was excellent. Good drainage and pure water are neces- 
sities for a military camp. Some of the camps, especially 
in the South, were the reverse of hygienic. General Gorgas 
denounced the location of some as having been selected by 
political influence. One was located in what was practically 
a morass. Camp Bowie at one time had two thousand cases 
of sickness without a toilet. Politics were said to be ad- 
journed, but it is not possible to escape the conclusion that 
this was a Southern democratic war, fought largely by North- 
ern men and financed by Northern money. Representative 
Kitchin said publicly that the North wanted the war and they 
ought to pay for it. 

I have said that some of the local boards seemed to think 
it was well to send the "no goods" from the small towns, 
thinking that in this way they could clean up their localities. 
It is probable that in some cases influences were brought to 
bear on the local examiners to keep sons of wealthy men at 
home. In one famous case the son of an automobile manu- 
facturer was kept out of the service through pull with some 
high authority. He was probably not more fitted for a sol- 
dier than his father was for a United States senator. At 
Camp Custer I knew of a number of the sons of wealthy men 
and millionaires in their own right who were serving as pri- 

I served for a short time at Camp Dix on a rejection 
board and one evening when leaving the infirmary where I 
was stationed I was asked if I would examine a sergeant who 
was about to go overseas; he wanted forty-eight-hour leave 
to see his wife, who had just given birth to a child. When I 
had finished my examination and took up his service record 
to affix my stamp I read the name of one of the best known 
families of railway magnates in this country. The young 
man's occupation was railroad president. He was made a 
lieutenant a short time after his arrival in France, as he was 

Observations of a Contract Surgeon 225 

a accomplished linguist. An entirely different case came 
> my notice in Camp Dix — that of a colored man forty -two 
sars old with a wife and three children; he had been drafted 
•om North Carolina. He was far past the draft age and 
>ld the examining board that he been told in his native town 
lat there was no escape for him. No doubt he filled the 
loes of some favorite with a white skin. The colonel of the 
:giment took up the matter with the War Department and 
le man was no doubt sent home to his family. 

I feel certain that the majority of the medical reserve 
en in the army would gladly have resigned and gone home, 
i the irksomeness and boredom incident to life in a canto n- 
ent was in the highest degree trying to a man's nerves as 
ell as to his patriotism. I knew men who were well o^iali- 
td surgeons in civil life who had been in the army a year 
ithout seeing a sore finger. Counting blankets, picking up 
£ar stumps, scrubbing barrack floors, and splitting wood 
ere hardly occupations for gentlemen who had gone into 
e service as surgeons in time of war. I often said to some 
' my colleagues on the T. B. examining board that if they 
•uld not go to France they were at least doing some useful 
ork. The great and gallant force of men sent overseas 
as the output of the boards, whose members certainly per- 
irmed a duty only less useful than that of the surgeons who 
i the firing line and in the hospitals of France and Flanders 

nobly sustained the honor of the medical profession. 
The first case of influenza was diagnosed at Camp Dix 
1 September 18. On the following Monday our examining 
)ard was disbanded and its members were all detailed for 
lty in the hospital annexes which were hastily improvised 

meet the overflow of cases from the base hospital. I was 
diagnostician in Hospital Annex Number 3 and for three 
?eks was compelled to see young fellows — the flower of 
merican manhood — die like flies day by day. I had my 

arters in Mount Holly, a few miles distant, and went to 


William F. Whyte 

Camp by train every day. It was very depressing to se 
twenty-five or more coffins at the station every morning whei 
I reached camp and a similar number there again when I wen 
home in the evening. There were over eight hundred death 
in Camp Dix from influenza. I was very glad to go bad 
to my work of examining hearts and lungs. 

An incident which caused a great deal of comment at th 
time may be related here. When the epidemic had died on 
General Scott gave permission for the reopening of the cam 
theaters and places of entertainment. The first time th 
"Big Y" — the largest Y. M. C. A. building — was opened 
movie was put on. Pictures were shown of prominent go\ 
ernment officers, among them Secretaries Daniels and Bake] 
I will not mention any others; with each there was a ripp] 
of applause. When Colonel Roosevelt's picture was show 
on the screen, the applause was deafening. It was easy to se 
who, among national figures, was first in the hearts of th 
men at Camp Dix. 

"The victorious retreat," as the Huns termed their rapi 
retrograde movements in the fall of 1918, showed plainl 
that the end of the war was in sight, and I sent in a requej 
to the surgeon general that my contract be cancelled on Nc 
vember 1, which completed a year of service in the army, 
felt that for a man in the sixty-eighth year of his age it ha 
been a great privilege to have worn Uncle Sam's uniform. 


The Wisconsin Historical Library has long maintained a 
bureau of historical information for the benefit of those who care 
to avail themselves of the service it offers. In "The Question 
Box" will be printed from time to time such queries, with the 
answers made to them, as possess sufficient general interest to 
render their publication worth while. 


There is a tradition among the older suffragists of the Wisconsin 
Woman's Suffrage Association that the enfranchisement of women was 
considered in the constitutional convention of 1846. I have looked over 
the recent publication of the Wisconsin Historical Society covering that 
convention and have found nothing to indicate that woman suffrage was 
proposed as a part of the tentative state constitution. Have you any 
further information on this matter than is contained in this volume? If 
so I shall be very glad indeed to have it. It might be of interest to answer 
the question in the quarterly magazine of the Society, but I shall greatly 
appreciate a personal reply at your early convenience. 

I find in the proceedings of that convention much debate on the ques- 
tion of giving the colored man the right to vote. I have not been able to 
learn the political status of the negro in Wisconsin at that time. Was he 
recognized as a citizen, or if not what was his status ? In the June num- 
ber of the Wisconsin Magazine of History, page 460, in an article on the 
Wisconsin home of Frances E. Willard there appeared the statement that 
the referendum on giving negroes the right to vote in 1846 was carried by 
5,000 majority. In the book from which I have been quoting and 
which I have not by me at this moment the statement is made that this 
referendum was defeated. Which statement is correct? If the referen- 
dum carried, did it continue in force even though the accompanying consti- 
tution was defeated? I am anxiously searching for light on this general 
situation and shall greatly appreciate your assistance. 

Theodora W. Youmans 


You have gained a mistaken impression from the statement in the 
June Magazine concerning the referendum of 1846 on negro suffrage, 
although there is an error in the statement of different character 
than the one noted by you. The question was not carried by 5,000 


The Question Booo 

majority (in fact it was not carried at all), but we merely note that 
5,000 votes were cast for it. The omission to state the number of 
negative votes has perhaps encouraged the inference you drew from 
the article. In fact, the vote was: 7,664 for negro suffrage tc 
14,615 against. All of this and much more on the subject of our 
state constitution will appear in succeeding volumes of the constitu- 
tional series, only the first of which has as yet come from the printer. 

With respect to the question of woman's rights and woman suf- 
frage in connection with the convention of 1846, I submit the fol- 
lowing report which has been prepared by Miss Kellogg, research 
associate on the staff of the Historical Society: 

The constitutional convention of 1846 was composed of the 
ablest men of the territory, many of whom were advanced thinkers 
on social questions. They discussed the status of woman from two 
points of view, her right to property and her right to the franchise. 
The article that was incorporated into the constitution on married 
women's property rights was the subject of considerable discussion, 
It was part of a provision to exempt a certain amount of family 
property from a forced sale for the debts of the head of the family 
or the husband. Such an exemption was vigorously demanded by the 
debtor class of the community, many of whom were suffering from 
the effects of the panic of 1837. Many worthy and industrious 
families had been evicted from their homesteads under the existing 
law; and many wives had lost all that they had received from their 
fathers or other relatives in discharge of their husbands' debts. The 
provision incorporated into the new constitution was taken from a 
similar one in the Texas constitution of 1845, which had been com- 
mended by the Democratic Review, then much read by the statesmen 
of the nation. This article read, in part, as follows : "All property, 
real and personal, of the wife, owned by her at the time of marriage, 
and also that acquired by her afterwards, by gift, devise, descent, or 
otherwise than from her husband shall be her separate property." 

This article was objected to by the propertied class, and during 
the discussion thereupon Edward G. Ryan, later chief justice of the 
state, said that such a provision violated both the usages and cus- 
toms of society and the express commands of the Bible; that its 
result would be to lead the wife to become a speculator, and would 

Negro Suffrage and Woman s Rights 


destroy her character. David Noggle, an able jurist from Janesville, 
replied to Ryan and defended women against his suppositious charges. 
He asked the convention to reflect on the character and worth of the 
poor unfortunate beings that would be benefited by this provision. 
The young, intelligent, and lovely wife, who has abandoned her par- 
ents' rich and stately mansion in the East, has separated herself from 
friends near and dear to her, to embark with her husband in the far 
West, sees herself, through no fault of her own, reduced to penury. 
Who believes that giving her the right to hold her own property will 
destroy her character or alienate her affections from her husband? 
He closed his eloquent speech with this sententious truism, "Elevate 
your wives, and elevate your daughters, and you will elevate the 

Noggle and other defenders of the article carried the convention ; 
but one of its ablest members, Marshall M. Strong of Racine, re- 
signed his seat when he found this provision was adopted and went 
home to do all he could to defeat the adoption of the constitution 
by popular referendum. Undoubtedly, this article did have some 
weight in securing the rejection of the constitution, and the one 
drawn by the convention of 1848 omitted any such provision. It was, 
however, approved by a large proportion of the community ; and in 
less than two years after the establishment of the state government 
a law was passed giving married women control of their own property. 
In this matter, Wisconsin was among the most progressive of the 

The discussion of the franchise for women in the convention of 
1846 was incidental to the contest over negro suffrage and the fran- 
chise for foreign immigrants. Upon the organization of the conven- 
tion a committee of five headed by Moses M. Strong of Iowa County 
was appointed to report an article on the elective franchise. Ma- 
jority and minority reports were presented, the former giving the 
suffrage to every white male person twenty-one years of age or older 
who was a citizen of the United States or had been a resident in 
Wisconsin for six months and had declared his intention of becoming 
a citizen. The minority report omitted the word "white." This 
was in deference to the wishes of the Liberty party, which was making 
an issue of negro suffrage. 


The Question Box 

The discussion, thus precipitated in the convention, raged for 
several days, during which the question of the franchise for the 
Indians who had been admitted to United States citizenship arose. 
The chairman of the committee moved to extend franchise rights to 
Indians declared citizens, and within a few minutes amended his 
amendment by the term "male Indians." Upon October twenty-first, 
David Giddings, a relative of the famous Ohio abolitionist, moved 
to strike out the word "white" before "male persons" which would 
extend the right of suffrage to every male person over twenty-one 
years of age. Immediately James Magone, an Irishman from Mil- 
waukee who had the reputation of being a wag, arose and "offered as 
an amendment that the word 'male' be stricken out, and the right of 
suffrage be extended to females as well as males. Moses M. Strong 
hoped the gentleman would withdraw the last amendment and allow 
those in favor of negro suffrage to obtain a vote and have a fair test 
of the question. Mr. Magone said he was in favor of females voting, 
and wished to tack the motion to a popular resolution to insure its 
success. Mr. Strong said he was a friend to females, and it was for 
that reason he did not wish to see them tacked on to negroes. Some 
further conversation passed between the gentlemen on the subject, 
and the question was then put on the adoption of Mr. Magone's 
amendment, which was lost." 

We have cited this discussion in extenso in order to show that 
there was no really serious consideration of women's right to suf- 
frage. The discussion thereof was an attempt to ridicule and em- 
barrass the favorers of negro suffrage and to show how preposterous 
it was. In the end the convention omitted all provisions for negro 
suffrage but agreed to submit the question to a referendum to be 
voted upon separately when the constitution came before the people. 
Both constitution and separate provision for colored suffrage were 
defeated. The latter registered in its favor, however, about seven 
thousand votes, showing the strength of the Liberty party in the 

In 1856 petitions for the enfranchisement of women were sub- 
mitted to the legislature. This was, apparently, the first serious 
effort to interest Wisconsin lawmakers in this movement. 

Winnebago Battle Near Wyocena 231 


There is a local tradition that during the Black Hawk War a party of 
Winnebago entrenched themselves in rifle pits in the vicinity of Wyocena 
and waged a pitched battle with a combined force of white soldiers and 
Menominee Indians, in which many of the Winnebago were killed. Can 
you afford any information as to the truth of this tradition? 

W. C. English, Wyocena 
President, Wisconsin Supervising Teachers' Association 

We can find no evidence of a battle in your vicinity during the 
Black Hawk War; the detailed report of the commander of the 
Menominee giving every incident of his march from Butte des Morts 
to the portage seems to preclude the possibility of such hostilities 
having occurred. They could not have taken place without his 
knowledge, and he must have reported them to his superior had they 

If you wish we can send you the report to which we allude : that 
of S. C. Stambaugh to George Boyd, dated "Camp Kinzey, Ouiscon- 
sin Portage — Aug. 2d, 1832." 

Thank you very much for looking up the facts in regard to the tradi- 
tion of the battle having been fought in this vicinity in early times. You 
seem effectively to have disposed of the theory that it happened during the 
Black Hawk War, but is there not a possibility that it might have happened 
at an earlier date, say during Red Bird's uprising, when Major Whistler's 
force was sent up the Fox? If you would kindly look up the matter I 
should be very glad indeed to have you do so. 

W. C. English, 


The facts concerning the Winnebago War and Major Whistler's 
expedition are as negative as those of 1832. We have excellent 
descriptions, especially full, by Thomas L. McKenney, commissioner 
of Indian Affairs, who accompanied the expedition. I say "descrip- 
tions," for his published one is in the Memoirs (Phila., 1845) from 
which the extract in Wis. Hist. Colls., V, is taken ; and there is also 
his government report found in the manuscripts at Washington. 

If the Wyocena tradition has a basis in fact, it must go still 
further back to the days of Winnebago hostility to the Americana 
between 1816 and 1825. There were one or two attacks by the Win- 
nebago on bodies of troops passing across the Fox-Wisconsin water- 
way, but we never have seen any account of a massacre. If you will 


The Question Bow 

write out the tradition as it is locally understood, we will file it fo: 
reference and will let you know when, or if, we find anything. 


We have heard that at one time in the early history of Wisconsin th 
state seceded from the Union. Is there any truth in the statement am 
if so will you please send us information about it? 

Ethel Buckmaster, 


It is not true that Wisconsin ever seceded from the Union. As i 
frontier state of aggressive democracy, she occasionally insisted oi 
"state's rights" in such emphatic terms that her attitude might hav 
been construed as a defiance of the federal government, but none sue] 
was ever seriously contemplated. For example, when a territory 
Wisconsin demanded of Congress to restore the "ancient boundaries' 
of the territory and threatened if it were not done to declare hersel 
"a state without the Union." This was no more than political bun 
combe and no attention was paid to it by either the federal govern 
ment or successive territorial and state governments. During th 
excitement over the Fugitive Slave Law Wisconsin in a more seriou 
and official manner defied the decrees of the federal courts and eleete< 
a member of the state supreme court on the platform of "state' 
rights." The legislature also in 1859 passed a nullifying resolutioi 
because of its abhorrence of the slavery power controlling the federa 
government. You will find a good brief account of the entire episod* 
in Wisconsin Historical Society, Proceedings, 1895, pp. 117-44 
This volume you can find in the Milwaukee Public Library. 


It occurs to me that this paper could advantageously use a series ol 
stories selected from the folklore of the Indians who formerly occupiec 
the territory comprising this state. The writer recently came across i 
number of interesting stories on the Zuni in a report of the Smithsoniar 
Institution, tales with such titles as "How the Moon Got a Dirty Face," etc 

There is a great demand for stories to "tell the children," and it is 
thought that in your library there might perhaps be such material as coulc 

Indian Names for a Farm 


be turned to this use. Will you not kindly let me know whether you have 
any matter that would furnish folk tales of Wisconsin Indians? 

Kenneth M. Ellis 
Feature Editor, Milwaukee Sentinel 

The folklore of the Indians who formerly occupied this state can 

be found in many printed volumes, and we would suggest that you 

consult the Milwaukee Public Library. I am appending a brief list 

of those you would find helpful. 

Katharine B. Judson, Myths and Legends of the Great 

Plains (Chicago: McClurg, 1913) 

Katharine B. Judson, Myths and Legends of the Mis- 

sissippi Valley and the Great Lakes (Chicago: 

McClurg, 1914) 

Mrs. M. B. McLaughlin, Myths and Legends of the 

Sioux (Bismarck, N. Dak.: 1916) 

George Cop way, History of the Ojibway Nation (New 

York, 1851) 

Consult also the volumes of the Wisconsin Historical Collections. 
Volume XXI of this series is an analytical index of the first twenty 
volumes, and by consulting it you will find what a wealth of material 
there is on the subject in which you are interested. The publications 
of the Wisconsin Archeological Society and the reports and bulletins 
of the United States Bureau of Ethnology you will find contain a 
great deal of material. 

We feel quite certain that you will be able to find material for a 
series of stories quite as interesting as anything written about the 
Zuni. If we can be of further assistance we shall be glad to do 
whatever is in our power. 


If possible will you send me Indian translations of the names given 
below? I desire to register the name of my farm but want to use the 
Indi an name for it: Pleasant Hill; Maple Knob; Face to the North] 
Devil River; Clover Blossom. 

Also, can you give me names of noted Indian chiefs prominent in the 
early history of Brown County? We are located about eight miles south 
of De Pere, and possibly some of the early history will touch on this par- 
ticular section of the county. 

E. J. Brittn \( RIB 



The Question Bow 

Your country was the early and much-loved land of the Menom- 
inee Indians. They resigned it to the United States government 
very regretfully by the Treaty of 1832. The Menominee were poor 
and wanted the annuity the government promised them for their 
lands, so they accepted the offer and parted with their claims south 
of the Fox River. They had several villages before that on the south 
bank of the Fox where such chiefs as Carron, I-om-e-tah, Glode, 
Wee-kah, Pe-wau-te-not, and others lived and hunted south and east. 
Some other chiefs of the early day were: Wau-pe-se'-pin (Wild 
Potato); Keshena (the Swift Flying One); Show-ne-on (Silver); 
Wau-pa-men (Standing Corn); O-sau-wish-ke-no (Yellow Bird); 
and Ka-cha-ka-wa-she-ka the Notch-maker). 

As for the names you suggest it is hard to give the Menominee 
equivalents. They did not combine, as we do, such terms as "Pleasant 
Hill," "Maple Knob." The hard maple was She-shi-kima ; and the 
soft maple Ship-i-a-sho-pom-aq'-ti-ki. Clover blossom was Nesso- 
bagak. Devil River was Manitou Sibi. 


I am planning a number of articles on Wisconsin as a tourist state. 
In the meantime I am collecting photographs and data which may be of 
service in preparing an article. I have made arrangements with Mr. W. 
O. Hotchkiss, the state geologist, to spend six weeks in the state this sum- 
mer, accompanied by an expert photographer, with a view to getting a 
collection of high type photographs of the beauty spots of Wisconsin, and 
incidentally some of the historic spots. One of the facts that attracts 
tourists is that of historic association. Wisconsin is rich in these, but to 
the average man the facts are unknown. 

In connection with this I have at times heard it stated that the federal 
authorities were impelled to locate the Oneida and Stockbridge Indians in 
this state because they regarded it as a great playground and hunting 
ground. This thought would fit in very well with a series of articles. Is 
there any basis for this statement, or is there anything of record in the 
proceedings of Congress or the departments to bear out this statement? 
If some such man as Webster or Clay made such a statement, it certainly 
would fit in well in opening up a discussion of "Wisconsin, the Playground 
of the Middle West." 

Any information that you may be able to give me will be greatly appre- 

F. A. Cannon, Madison 
Executive Secretary, Good Roads Association 

The Sioux War of 1862 


We are sorry not to be able to find you just the quotation that 
you can use effectively for your purpose. The truth is the men of 
one hundred years ago seldom thought of land in terms of a "play- 
ground," and would never have used such a term. A movement was 
on foot in 1818 and 1819 to make Wisconsin a permanent Indian 
reserve, removed from the deleterious influence of white men and their 
grog shops. Calhoun, then secretary of war, favored such a plan, by 
which Wisconsin would be in perpetuity an Indian land. In 1820 he 
sent the Reverend Jedediah Morse (father of the inventor of teleg- 
raphy) to visit the West and make a report upon some such plan. 
Mr. Morse went all through the Northwest and was much in favor of 
Calhoun's plan, considering the region west of Lake Michigan 
adapted to a "suitably prepared portion of our country" upon which 
the Indians of New York State might live in peace and might be 
gradually taught the arts of civilization. Some of the statesmen of 
this time went so far as to favor an exclusive Indian territory that 
might in time be raised to the rank of a state. Pursuant to this 
policy, the Stockbridge and Oneida, with the small remnants of the 
Brotherton and Munsee tribes, made treaties with the Wisconsin 
tribesmen, the Menominee and Winnebago, and prepared for removal, 
which was eventually effected after many difficulties. A decade or 
more later the government pursued a different policy, and by the 
treaties of 1832 after the Black Hawk War, that of 1833 at 
Chicago, and that of 1836 at Cedar Point purchased all of southern 
Wisconsin and threw it open to white settlement. 


I am writing to ascertain what material you have on the Sioux Indian 
War of 1862 in Minnesota. 

I want the most detailed information I can get, particularly the names 
of the individuals who were killed and taken prisoner by the Indians. 
Also, if possible, information regarding the provisions made by Congress 
and the state of Minnesota, if any, for the relief of the survivors, and for 
those whose property was taken or destroyed by the Indians. 

Please let me know, also, what provision you make, if any. for the 
loan of the publications. 

G. M. Sheldon 



The Question Box 

The most available material about the Sioux War of 1862 is 
found in the Collections of the several historical societies of the 
Northwest, particularly the Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, and 
South Dakota societies. In this connection we note: Minnesota 
Historical Collections, VI, 354-408; IX, 395-449; X, 595-618; XII, 
513-30; XV, 323-78. North Dakota Historical Collections, I, 412- 
29. South Dakota Historical Collections, II, chapters 25-30 ; VIII, 
100-588. This latter gives the official correspondence. 

Among secondary writers are: Edward D. Neill, History of 
Minnesota (4th edition, Minneapolis, 1882), 716-37; Judge Charles 
E. Flandrau, History of Minnesota and Tales of the Frontier (St. 
Paul, 1900), 135-87. Frank Fiske, The Taming of the Sioux 
(Bismarck, 1917) is said to have some good material on this war. 

So far as we can ascertain by a brief research no provision has 
been made either by Congress or by the state of Minnesota for relief 
and indemnity, except in specific cases as, for instance, the widows of 
friendly Indians who saved many whites (see United States Docu- 
ments, serial 2674, doc. 3976, Message of Governor of Minnesota, 
1871). The adjutant general of Minnesota had charge of soldiers' 
bounties and pensions. Probably the present incumbent can tell you 
what, if any, provision has been made for such relief. 

We have in the manuscript division of the Library a document 
entitled "Victims of the Indian Massacre of 1862 in Minnesota," 
which contains specific lists of names of victims, dates and places of 
occurrences, etc. The manuscript comprises seven typewritten 
pages, the whole compiled by Marion P. Satterlee for the Minnesota 
Historical Society. So far as I know, it is the only thing in existence 
which would answer approximately your desire for names of victims, 
etc. It can be copied for you at your expense, should you care to 
order this done. 

Many of the volumes in the State Historical Library are sub- 
ject to loan over the state, but a large proportion of its contents 
is not. You would doubtless find, if you are pursuing any exhaus- j 
tive investigation, that the only satisfactory way to do it would be 
to come to the Library. In so far as we are able to do so, we will be | 
glad to accommodate you by sending works which you may desire to j 
use to your local library. 

Early Trails and Highways of Wisconsin 



I am trying to find the date of the founding of the first Catholic mis- 
sion on the Menominee River. I know the locality, at Mission Point, 
Marinette, Wisconsin, but I can find no tradition here as to date of found- 
ing or name of the priest who founded it. I thought the papers of the late 
Lewis S. Patrick of Marinette might contain some information on these 
points. Will you kindly tell me how to go about getting this ? I think all 
of Mr. Patrick's historical papers were turned over to the State Historical 

I will be very grateful for any information on the subject. 

Josephine Sawyer 
Menominee, Michigan 

The earliest Catholic mission on the Menominee River was begun 
in 1670 by Father Claude Allouez. The mission was named St. 
Michael, and was maintained for several years and ministered to by 
Father Louis Andre. The accounts of this mission are to be found 
in Jesuit Relations (R. G. Thwaites, editor), LIV, 235; LV, 103; 
LVI, 125; LVIII, 273-81; LXI, 153-55. The exact site of this 
mission can never be known, as it was abandoned over two hundred 
years ago. The "Mission Point" which you mention was the site of 
an early Methodist mission. In Mr. Patrick's papers there is the 
following statement concerning it : "The Methodist mission house was 
located near the site of the machine shop of the N. Ludington Com- 
pany. It was built about 1833 by Rev. John Clark who was mission- 
ary for all the territory from Lake Superior to Chicago. He worked 
there with the Indians until about 1836, when ill success made him 
discontinue his mission. There was a house that was never finished 
and a blacksmith shop. The house was sold in 1839 to Samuel 
Farnesworth who moved it nearly opposite the Marquette flour mill, 
and occupied it as his residence." 


The National Association of the Daughters of the American Revolu- 
tion has a committee, of which I am the member for Wisconsin, to establish 
the lines of early trails and roads in the United States. I am. therefore, 
interested in planning an active campaign among the several local chapters 
of the state looking to the location, and ultimately to the marking of some 
of the more important early trail and highway routes of Wisconsin. Can 
you give me any suggestions which may be of value in this connection? 

Mrs. G. W. Dbzhiimbh 

Fort Atkinson 


The Question Booo 

It seems to us it would be well not to undertake too many trails at 
first, but to have a definite program for two or three, and perhaps for 
marking the two great military roads, one in the southern and the 
other in the northern portion of the state. For instance: suppose 
you attempt to locate the Chicago-Green Bay trail (from the state 
boundary). If you carefully consult the accounts of early travelers 
and mail riders in the Wisconsin Historical Collections you can get 
the main lines in Kenosha, Racine, Milwaukee, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, 
and Brown counties. We recommend these references: Collections, 
IV, 282; VII, 239; XI, 229; XV, 453. Then take one cross-state 
trail from Milwaukee to Rock River and the lead mines. On this see 
Collections, VI, 139, and other references ; also consult Wau Bun. 

The old military road from Fort Howard to Fort Winnebago 
was the earliest road in the territory. It was continued along the 
military ridge in Iowa and Grant counties to Fort Crawford at 
Prairie du Chien. Some progress has been made in studying its route 
through Dane County. The northern military road was built much 
later, between 1866 and 1871 ; it ran from Fort Howard northwest- 
ward, and was built by a grant of land. 

If you can make a start in locating these trails and roads you 
will do good service for Wisconsin history. The old maps of early 
Wisconsin that we keep at the Library will be valuable to you in the 
study of these trails. 


I would like to know anything of historical interest attaching to West 
Point on the western shore of Lake Mendota. I would particularly like 
information concerning the traders St. Cyr and Rowan, who are said to 
have been located here at an early day. 

H. S. Stafford 


So far as is known the earliest permanent habitation upon the 
Madison lakes was a small cabin built upon the northwest shore of 
Fourth Lake some time after 1829. In that year Judge James D. 
Doty and Morgan L. Martin crossed the country on horseback from 
Green Bay to Prairie du Chien. They took a trail from Green Lake 
that brought them to the Four Lakes, and they found a few Winne- 
bago Indians on the north shore of Lake Mendota, but no white 

Early History of West Point 


trader. Wallace Rowan was a Kentucky miner, who had migrated 
first to Indiana, and then drifted into the lead region sometime during 
the rush of 1827. He mined for a time about Platteville, but was 
not successful, so in some way he obtained a small outfit of Indian 
goods and came into Winnebago territory to trade. The small one- 
room log cabin he built on the shore of Fourth Lake about 1830 was 
used both as a dwelling and a trading house. No doubt he kept a 
liberal supply of whisky and tobacco, the chief articles of Indian 
trade, a few blankets, cloth by the yard, ribbons, and cheap orna- 
ments. He bought the beaver and muskrat skins trapped by the 
Indians, dressed deerskins, and any skunk or mink furs that the 
Winnebago brought in. During the spring of 1832 the Sauk Indians 
went on the warpath and the Winnebago were very restless. Rowan 
thought it safer to abandon his cabin and retreated apparently to 
Blue Mound fort, where he was during the war. When Major Henry 
Dodge with Indian Agent Henry Gratiot came to hold a council 
with the Four Lakes Indians, May 26, 1832, Rowan's cabin was 
empty. Dodge brought with him a volunteer troop of horse recruited 
in the lead mines, and they camped near Rowan's cabin the night of 
May 25. The council was held the next day with the few chiefs 
who had come in. The chiefs present were Old Turtle, whose village 
was at Beloit, Spotted Arm, Little Black, and Silver. Man Eater, 
the chief of a village on Lake Koshkonong, was ill and sent his sister 
and daughter to represent him. 

Little Black was the orator. He declared that the Winnebago 
were not conspiring with Black Hawk, but would keep their toma- 
hawks buried, that the sky was clear above them, and that they would 
have nothing to do with the enemy Sauk. Dodge reminded them of 
their treaty with their Great Father, the President, and all his white 
children, threatened to cut off their annuity if they failed to keep 
the treaty, and left them in a humbled frame of mind. Nevertheless, 
within a few days, one or two of the garrison who ventured out of the 
Blue Mound fort were murdered, and it was believed to be the deed 
of the Winnebago. 

The war was over by August. That autumn the Winnebago wore 
forced to cede all their lands south of the Wisconsin River and to 
promise to remove the next year. Rowan sold out his small post to 


The Question Bow 

a half-breed Winnebago, Michel St. Cyr, who occupied the cabin in 
the autumn of 1832 with his Winnebago squaw and family. St. Cyr 
was here for five years. He seems to have been a kindly, pleasant- 
tempered man, as most French-Canadians were. His squaw kept the 
cabin cleaner than Mrs. Rowan had done, and it became a kind of 
tavern for white adventurers to the Four Lakes. 

In 1833 Dodge sent two companies of United States Rangers, 
which were enlisted that spring, to see that the Winnebago kept their 
word and removed. They were very loath to go and made every 
sort of plea and excuse. Their agent, Gratiot, begged the govern- 
ment to let them stay one more year to gather a harvest, but the 
authorities were inexorable, and the Indians had to go. The troopers 
had several wagons, and would round up the little groups and 
transport them from the head of Fourth Lake to the Wisconsin River, 
probably down the Black Earth valley. It is said they slipped back 
again as soon as the soldiers' backs were turned, but their permanent 
villages were broken up. The troops camped at a big spring which 
they called Belle Fontaine, probably the one now known as Livesey's 

St. Cyr remained on the spot until 1837; the surveyors who 
during the winter of 1836-37 laid out the capital stayed at his house. 
In July, 1836 Colonel William B. Slaughter of Virginia came to 
the Four Lakes and offered St. Cyr a couple of hundred dollars for 
his improvement, on the site of which he laid out the City of the Four 
Lakes. The plat is in the land office at the capitol. The streets 
were named for the territorial officers — Dodge, Horner, Jones, Dunn, 
Frazer, Chapman, and Gehon. The avenues were entitled for the 
states — New York, Virginia, Illinois, etc. Several houses were built, 
and lots were sold in the East. A university was planned; perhaps 
it was hoped to secure the territorial university for the site. Colonel 
Slaughter lived at this place for several years. The land afterwards 
passed into the possession of James Livesey, who lived there until a 
comparatively recent time. 



352nd Inf., 88th Div., 


April 23, 1919. 

My dear Mrs. Week : 

I have tried so many times to steal a few minutes for a letter to 
you but I have scarcely had time for my letters to the family and 
they even have been few and far between. You were so wonderfully 
kind to me before I left Stevens Point and I intended to write just as 
soon as I was located as a further evidence of my appreciation but 
the days were so very full and at night I was so tired I couldn't 
even think. People did so many nice things for me before I left and 
I just wish they knew how much the thought of that helps me over 
here when things are hard as of course they are sometimes. 

After two months in Germany with the Army of Occupation 
(attached to the Rainbow Div.) I am back in France. While there I 
was stationed in Ahrweiler [Ahrweller], a quaint little old town 
which was surrounded by a high wall and moat and approached by 
four large gate-ways. A girl from New York City and myself had 
charge of the work there which consisted of a theater and wet canteen, 
dry canteen and reading room, also a small officers' club. When the 
Division returned to the states I went to Paris for reassignment and 
asked to be sent into the Toul Area that I might see more of the 
front. I had already seen the Pont-a-Mousson region about Metz and 
had been in Nancy which had been shelled. 

I reported in Toul for definite assignment and was attached to 
the 88th Div. 352nd Infantry. While I was in Toul I had the 
opportunity I had been looking for, that of making a tour of at 
least a part of the front where the worst fighting occurred. 

We went first to St. Mihiel which the Germans took early in the 
war and occupied until driven out by the Americans in the big St. 

1 Letter written by Sara E. Buck, Y. M. C. A., 12 Rue d' Aguesseau, Palis, to 
Mrs. Nelson A. Week, Stevens Point, Wi sconsin. 


Historical Fragments 

Mihiel drive in which so many of our boys lost their lives. There it 
scarcely a building in the town left intact. From there we went tc 
Verdun and it just made my heart sick to see village after villag( 
absolutely levelled, not a wall left standing. It is just impossible tc 
describe the awful devastation. 

Of Verdun which was quite a city there is nothing left. The "Y' 
operates a big place for the benefit of the few American troops sta- 
tioned there, mostly labor battalions, grave registration units 
These men locate the scattered graves and move the bodies to th( 
cemeteries which the Gov't is preparing to receive them, in whicl 
they are placed in long trenches as close together as possible. Th( 
fields all about this part of the country are dotted with the little 
crosses of American graves and so often we saw them right by th< 
roadside where a soldier had been hurriedly buried where he fell. 

In many places the work of filling in the trenches has begun anc 
one can trace them for miles by the new earth. Much of the barbec 
wire entanglement still remains, also the camouflage along the roads 
This consists of heavy wire netting from post to post in which bough* 
of trees are fastened to conceal the road from the view of th( 
enemy. It was a wonderful trip and I came back realizing all toe 
well what war meant but I wouldn't take anything for that one day's 

I went from Toul to Gondrecourt and as I knew that Lymar 
Park was located somewhere near there, for he had written me whik 
I was in Germany, I inquired and discovered that he was but a shorl 
distance away. Gov. Morgan, our Divisional Sec'y, was kind enougr 
to offer to take me out there when I told him and I found the whok 
battery from home in the most horrible little old mud hole I had seer 
in France. Of course the boys were all glad to see me and as the} 
were leaving the next day on the first lap of their journey home I wenl 
to Mauvage the entraining point and stood in the mud to my ankles 
in the rain and gave them hot coffee, waited until the train pulled 
out, waved them good-bye, then had the very first spell of home- 
sickness I have had since leaving the states. 

The next day I came out here to Ribeaucourt and found it an 
exact replica of the little place in which our battery was stationed. H 
is just the sort of a place though where the "Y" is badly needed foi 

A Woman "Y" Worker's Experiences 243 

there is just nothing here for the boys outside of that. Most of 
them are billetted in stables, some in the lofts and some right down 
with the horses and cows. There is but one street in the village, the 
houses are built right on the street, no yard nor sidewalk and where- 
ever there is a vacant space, a manure pile. That is the way I find 
my way home at night. Sometimes it is very, very dark but I know 
I must pass just so many smells before I reach my palatial abode 
which is, of course, the best that the village affords, I being the only 
American woman here. To enter the house I have to pass through 
the stable but that is a small matter. My room is the funniest thing 
you ever saw; the bed is a cupboard in the wall and there are three 
huge feather beds on it so that I have to stand on a chair in order 
to get into it. In the daytime the doors to the cupboard are closed 
and no bed visible. There is no light of course but candles and by way 
of a brie a brae the madame's pet dog recently deceased and stuffed 
lies curled up gruesomely natural on the table. 

The family lives in one room in which there are two cupboard beds, 
a dining room table and huge fireplace which not only furnishes all 
the heat but serves as kitchen stove. All the meals are cooked here 
in one small kettle and consist of a piece of meat and anything else 
which they can go out in the back yard and pull out of the ground. 

Our hut is quite large, wooden tables and benches, dirt floor but 
never-the-less quite attractive. It should be five times as large as 
it is to accommodate all the boys. We serve coffee, cocoa, doughnuts, 
cookies or sandwiches every afternoon and evening. Last Saturday 
I made seven hundred and fifty doughnuts, quite an undertaking con- 
sidering the fact that I had never made doughnuts before in my life 
but it is quite surprising what one can do when one must. 

We had a nice service here Easter in our hut. I sang here in 
the morning then drove thirty kilometres to Bonnet and sang there in 
the evening. 

Of course there are many, many disadvantages about living the 
way I have to here but the boys are so appreciative of everything that 
is done for them and being the only American girl here I get to know 
them so well and we feel just like one big family. There are many 
places in "Y" work much more desirable from the standpoint of 
personal comfort but none where there are such big returns in 


Historical Fragments 

personal satisfaction as right here in a filthy mud hole like Ribeai 
court. Most of the boys here hadn't seen an American girl for fh 
months as they never had a "Y" worker with them and they wer. 
perfectly wild the first day I came. To go to bed at night feeling tha 
you have made a place like this more livable for hundreds of men tha 
day more than pays for every effort you have made. 

* * * 

Very sincerely, 

Sara E. Buck. 



Washington April 18 th 1861 

My Dear Wife & Children 

It is among possibilities that this sheet may bear my last words t 
you. I have about one hour in [which] to write, and get my suppe 
and meet an engagement with our Wisconsin friends now in Washing 
ton. The letter I mailed to you today I fear was couched in too muc 
confidence. The slip which I here enclose, cut from this afternoon 
paper will give you something of an idea as to what is aprehendec 
About an hour ago Genl King met some of us and took 20 names o 
Wisconsin men who pledge themselves to stand ready for any emer 
gency tonight. We shall be supplied with Carbine and Revolver 
This slip does not convey the deep fears entertained. The City is i. 
a very critical condition. Many believe that an attack will be mad 
tonight, I greatly fear it and pray no such Calamity to befall us 

The question is not whether this or that political party shal 
triumph but whether this govt shall be overthrown. 

The precious liberties which [we] have enjoyed, guaranteed to u 
by the constitution of which we have so much bosted on is in peril 
The flag of our country is to be stricken down More than this th 
most prosperous nation that ever existed — The best govt ever knowi 

1 This letter, copied from the original in the State Historical Library, wa 
written by Andrew B. Jackson, a Wisconsin man who was in Washington at th 
time Fort Sumter fell, making arrangements concerning his appointment to th 
land office at Menasha. Jackson was an able man and had served as a membe 
of Wisconsin's second constitutional convention of 1847-48. 

The Panic at Washington 


is to be overthrown — overthrown at the cost of the blood and treasure 
of the Nation 

A little distance from where I write hangs the Immortal 
declaration of Independence. Some of the signatures are almost 
obliterated ; but that only adds to its veneration, and immortal value. 
Glorious instrument, — Glorious names attest thy truths, Glorious 
recollections press upon us while we reflect at what cost thy immortal 
principles [have] been maintained. Look at Bunker Hill, the base 
of that Monument is semented in blood. I might go over New 
England N. Y. N. J. and in fact the old thirteen states, whose soil 
has been saturated with the blood of our Fathers, whose watercourses 
have crimsoned from their veins. I might go to the graves of those 
who pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honors in defence of the 
liberty bequeathed to us, and while I say peace to their ashes, I would 
inquire in the name of my God and my country shall these principles 
[be] trampled in the dust? Shall we before the nation is a hundred 
years old, see it disgraced in the eyes of the world and destroyed? 
Forbid it Almighty God. 

My Dear Wife I shall not be reckless, yet if necessary I believe 
[it] a duty I owe to God and the country to do what little I am able 
to prevent such a calamity 

The bell calls me [to] supper I may have time this evening to 
add something. 

Affectionate Your 

Husband & Father 

Andrew B. Jackson 

8 CI evening Since writing the above about 100 troops came in 
on the cars from Penn. More are expected to night. We feel easier. 
If we get a good many troops into Washington the secessionists will 
hardly dare attack us. The excitement never has run so high as it 
does to night. Some families and a good many women left to day out 
of fear Judge Potter did not get away to day but thinks he shall in 
the morning We shall meet, but whether we shall stay up to night is 
not yet determined, there are about 1000 troops in the Capitol to 
night, those that came in went there to stay for the night. 

Unless something new shall transpire I shall not write again till 
Saturday. God bless and protect us. It [is] a consolation for me to 

246 Historical Fragments 

say that my faith and abiding confidence in him was never greater 
than since I have been in Washington 
I am called away 

A. B. J. 


The mind of the bureaucrat is as constant as the granite hills of 
New England, and the ways of red tape change not from generation 
unto generation. The letter which follows affords an interesting 
illustration of the workings of red tape in the days of our grand- 
fathers. For the rest, it offers some comment on the problems before 
the second constitutional convention, of which Morgan L. Martin, 
recipient of the letter, was president. The writer, Philo White, was 
a man of consequence in his day, who played a prominent role in the 
upbuilding of early Wisconsin. White began and ended his career at 
Whitestown, New York. After a considerable career in New York, 
his health failing, he secured an appointment as naval storekeeper on 
the Pacific station. Several years later he established a paper at 
Raleigh, North Carolina, was soon elected state printer, and for a 
time was an active figure in state politics. Failing health caused 
another removal, this time to infant Wisconsin in the summer of 
1836. Here White played an interesting part in the founding of the 
Milwaukee Sentinel and built the United States Hotel block, at the 
time the most imposing building in the city. Removing to Racine he 
became owner and editor of the Advocate, managed several farms, 
served in the territorial council of 1847 and 1848, and in the senate 
of the newly-admitted state. Both in his home community and at 
Madison his ability and leadership in public affairs gained full 
recognition. He left Wisconsin in 1849 to become consul general 
at the free cities of Hamburg, Liibeck, and Altona; later he served 
as minister to Ecuador for several years. On returning to the United 
States in 1858 he made his home at Whitestown, his native place. 

Honbl. Morgan L. Martin: Racine, 8th Jan'y, 1848. 

Dear Sir: 

I really don't recollect whether I have had the 
honor of addressing you at Madison yet, for I have been so absorbed in 
other matters, — in correspondence with the Departments at Washington, 

Red Tape at Washington 


trying to persuade them to come to a final adjustment of some old sus- 
pended items in my accounts, which they think it requires the sanction of 
Congress to authorize them to settle, although they acknowledge the justice 
of them, &c : The amount is really hardly worth the postage on the corre- 
spondence that will take place in relation to the items, as it becomes requi- 
site to transmit to and fro some tolerably heavy vouchers. But the principle 
on which these small matters are made to operate to my prejudice, are 
so monstrous, that I am almost disposed to go into Congress in search 
of justice: Let me name one or two cases: While attached to the Pacific 
Squadron, Com re Thos. Ap. Catesby Jones 1 , he sent Lieut. Griffith home 
in our ship, the "Dale," giving me a written order to pay the Lieutenant 
$200 advance, to meet his expenditures home; we took him from Lima to 
Panama, from thence he went to Chagres by land, and in an English 
vessel from Chagres to Jamaica, where he died of fever. That $200 they 
have checked against me, because Lieut. Griffith died before he worked 
out the amount, and somebody, they say, must lose the overpayment. Had 
I refused the order of Com. Jones, he would have arrested me, and sent me 
home: And moreover, I made the payment under protest, as required by 
the regulations of the Navy Department. It is very provoking; and I 
thought at one time I would go immediately on, and get consoled by abus- 
ing the accounting officers to their faces: But I am now giving them 
some plain talk by corresp ce . 

Another case is this: A law of Congress allows "all persons belong- 
ing to the Navy," one fourth more pay in cases where those "persons" are 
detained on board a vessel of war on a foreign station after their term of 
service shall have expired. Well about l/3 d of the crew of the Dale's 
term of service expired while we were yet in the Pacific; and from the date 
of the expirations of service of every "person" on board, I credited them 
with l/4 th more pay until we arrived in the U. S; and they were paid off 
and discharged: But the Acct'g. Officers, in their wisdom, decided that 
the "Marines," who made part of our complement, did "not belong to the 
Navy" ! And they checked all I thus paid to those Marines whose terms 
had expired, against me! I understand, however, the Att'y. Gen'l. has 
decided against them in this matter. I think yet, I may go on to Washing- 
ton, after the adjournment of the Legislature. 

Allow me to congratulate you, on your elevation to the Presidency of 
the Convention, a post which your talents and experience qualify you so 
well to fill, and in which your firmness and decision give dignity to the pro- 
ceedings of the body, and contribute largely to the despatch of business. 

I am gratified to see that you succeeded in carrying an amendment, 
which acknowledges the principle of Exemptions: It is a "progressive" 

Thomas ap Catesby Jones was a native of Virginia, born in 1789, who do- 
voted his life to the naval service. In 1814 he made a brave defense of New 
Orleans against an overwhelming British naval force, surrendering only when 
he was desperately wounded and hope of escape was cut off. He was given 
command of the Pacific station off California in 1840, and learning on what he 
supposed to be good authority that the United States was at war with Mexico, 
he took possession of Monterey. For this he was temporarily suspended. He 
died at Georgetown, D. C, 1858. 


Historical Fragments 

principle, and we should have been behind the age had we "shirk'd" it in 
the Constitution. 

I am really in hopes you will succeed in presenting us such a charter 
of our rights, as will secure the sanction of the Democracy, at least. I 
think there is a disposition to accept the next Constitution: The recent 
explosion in several of the Pennsylvania Banks, &c. ought at least to rec- 
oncile the whigs to tolerably stringent restrictions upon banking in Wis- 
consin: I trust those explosions will have a salutary influence on the 
minds of the Delegates, when they come to act on the bank Article. 

We are astir in regard to a Plank Road hence to the West; I am mak- 
ing a long report in regard to their utility, &c to present to a meeting here 
on Friday next, — and expect to be instructed to procure a charter at our 
next session, &c. &c. 

I should be obliged to you for one of King's Census Statements, 
should a spare one fall in your way. 

Mrs. White joins me in regards to yourself and family, should M rs 
Martin be with you. 

Very truly your friend 

And obt serv't, 

Philo White 



As the engineer has a fondness for accuracy of detail, often to 
the burden of his nonengineering friends, I therefore have some 
hesitation in calling attention to the following in the Wisconsin 
Magazine or History, which may be mere engineering minutiae and 
of no interest to the historian : 

Vol. II of No. 3, pp. 263, 264, quoting from p. 264 : 
«* * * enabling act for Wisconsin in 1846 

fixed its southern line at 42° 30V 

Quite true, but due to errors in the survey the boundary is not 
on 42°30 / , the boundary line crossing this parallel about south of 

Vol. II. No. 4, p. 452: "* * * built in the 
style of the famous Merrimac which had been sunk two 
years before in the duel with the Monitor which revolu- 
tionized the art of naval warfare." 

Lieutenant Catesby ApR. Jones, who commanded the Merrimac 
in the Monitor battle, testified later before a naval court of inquiry 
that the Merrimac should have been sunk in fifteen minutes. As a 
matter of fact, the Merrimac was practically uninjured in this battle 
and was blown up over two months later by order of its commander, 
Captain Josiah Tatnall. The last part of the quotation, however, is 
absolutely correct, for the Monitor, a creation of inspired genius, 
revolutionized naval construction, Captain Ericsson's second revolu- 
tion in this art, the first having been embodied in the Princeton of the 
early eighteen forties. 

Yours very truly, 
John G. D. Mack, Madison 

State Chief Engineer 




A letter to me in your care forwarded me, speaks of the fact 
that "Racine" is the only French name on the map of southern 
Wisconsin as against so frequent French names elsewhere in the states 
of Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, settled by the 
Jesuit missionaries, as confirming that suggestion that it was the 
translation of "Root" the river, rather than that Root the river was 
an English translation of Racine the town. This, it suggests, might 
have been because the southern portion of the state was the most 
conveniently reached by American pioneers who flocked to the new 
state, whereas under French occupation the regnal parts of the 
state were northwardly from Lake Superior and Green Bay south to 
Prairie du Chien where the Wisconsin debouches into the Mississippi. 
And it goes on to say that "Milwaukee" not being an Indian name, 
might, in the same rude speech, have been what somebody who saw a 
steamboat for the first time said was "a mill walking!" As to this 
latter I remember to have heard it in my Racine days, but only 
repeated to laugh at. Though, now I think of it again, I do recall 
seeing somewhere a statement that the first steamboat ever launched 
upon the Great Lakes was launched at Detroit in 1818 and called 
"Walk-In-The- Water." This you would no doubt be able to verify 
if true. But of course the Parkman Club has all this, and has some- 
where made it all of record. And speaking of the Parkman Club 
reminds me of Mr. Wight to whom I shall shortly write to thank 
him for all this pleasant correspondence and for introduction to your 
beautifully printed and wonderfully fascinating Wisconsin Maga- 
zine of History. 

I found manifold matter besides my own to interest me in the 
June issue. Strange to tell I knew both Potter and Pryor of bowie- 
knife fame. 1 John F. Potter I remember as a thick-set gentleman, 
who wore a full beard and mustache trimmed to the contour of his 
face and jaw — much such a looking man as was Grant when president, 
and to the end of his days in this city, when I saw him often at No. 1 
Broadway. As it was more the custom in those days to wear the 
beard flowing, it made an impression on my childish memory. 

ir The reference is to "The Potter-Pryor Duel," ibid., 449-52. 

More Light on Colonel Utley's Contest 


At the Colonial Club in this city I used to have long talks with 
Judge Pryor running over his marvellously eventful career (though I 
was always careful not to allude to Mr. Potter). The Judge looked 
like an Indian with high cheek bones, gaunt features, and long, very 
coarse, and jet black hair. Indeed he claimed — though I never heard 
him say so — descent from Pocahontas — left handedly, if at all, or 
perhaps it was from Powhatan properly. The Judge told me that he 
did not fire the first gun at Sumter because Virginia had not yet 
seceded and it would have been high treason to fire on what was at that 
time his country's flag, although he was rather proud to relate that he 
incited the state of South Carolina to fire on Sumter by coming down 
from Richmond for that purpose and telling them that nothing else 
would induce Virginia to secede. He did go in the boat to demand 
the surrender and got it. He was selected for hanging by Stanton 
and was imprisoned in Fort Lafayette in our harbor instead by 
Lincoln, but he became a justice of our New York Supreme Court 
and left a distinguished record behind him. When Jeff Davis, who 
did not love him, finessed him out of his brigadier-generalship by 
turning over his brigade to General Wise, Pryor enlisted as a private 
and was captured at Brandy Station. Some say he walked out of 
the ranks and surrendered himself to our lines there, to escape 
persecution by Davis. But as to this he never spoke and like the 
Potter episode I thought it wise not to lead up to it in our frequent 

Appleton Morgan 

New York City 


I have been very greatly interested in Appleton Morgan's "Recol- 
lections of Early Racine," in the June, 1919 issue of the magazine. 
It is evident that Mr. Morgan had familiar personal knowledge of a 
great variety of events of much interest and importance in the early 
history of Racine, and with the actors concerned in them. 

It is not strange that inaccuracies should creep into informal 
recollections of a time a half century and more gone, especially with 
relation to statements susceptible of verification or disproval only by 



some research, and I venture to say that Mr. Morgan was mistaken 
in stating that Colonel Utley did not pay the judgment of $1,000 in 
favor of Justice Robertson of Kentucky, for taking the latter's slave 
out of that state in 1862. Attention was called in a footnote to the 
fact that I had given a different account of the matter, in my Racine 
County Militant, and I would like to offer briefly the evidence in 
support of my statements concerning it. 

With reference to that story, permit me to say that the facts 
concerning this phase of the controversy of Colonel Utley with 
Justice Robertson were related to me by Mr. Park Wooster, a step- 
son of Colonel Utley, and I have verified them within the last month 
in conversation again with him. Mr. Wooster tells me that he has 
many times heard his stepfather, Colonel Utley, tell the story of the 
payment of that judgment and subsequent reimbursment by the 

Having known Mr. Wooster for more than forty years and having 
personal knowledge also of the intimate and affectionate relations 
sustained by Colonel Utley with his stepson through a long period of 
years until the former's death, I am frank to say that this testimony 
satisfies me. 

Within the last month, however, I have read the entire court 
record in the case, which is on file in the office of the United States 
District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, at Milwaukee. It 
consists of a complete certified transcript of the Kentucky court 
proceedings, and also the record of those in the Wisconsin court 
named above, where the case was also tried. 

Complaint was first filed in the Jessamine County Circuit Court, 
at Nicholasville, Kentucky, on November 17, 1862. A court order to 
Utley to deliver the slave to Robertson was placed in the hands of the 
sheriff for execution; on his return, on the back of the order, that 
officer reported that on December 10, 1862, he demanded the slave, 
Adam, of Wm. L. Utley, and that he failed to produce him. 

From that time on the case was largely a matter of continuances, 
demurrers, motions to quash, writs of error, and other legal devices 
to gain time and discourage the plaintiff, until on October 6, 1871 
judgment was entered in the Wisconsin court for $908.06 with costs 
of $26.40. This judgment was satisfied on May 9, 1873. 

General Grant at Platteville 


The attorneys in the case were Stark and McMullen for Robert- 
son, and Bennett and Ullman for Utley. On October 5, 1871, how- 
ever, Matt H. Carpenter appeared for Colonel Utley in the last 
court action, and filed a demurrer to replication, which was over- 
ruled by the court, and on the next day judgment was ordered for 
the plaintiff. I submit that the above evidence is sufficient to warrant 
belief in the substantial correctness of the account of the affair as 
given by me in Racine County Militant. 

Sincerely yours, 

E. W. Leach 



I was much interested in the report of J. H. Evans's recollections 
in the September number of the Magazine, since I lived as a boy in 
Platteville and knew Mr. Evans as far back as I can remember. He 
is either in error or misquoted, probably, on page 86 when he speaks 
of seeing Grant the last time in 1868, in Platteville. Grant made 
his last visit to Platteville in the fall of 1880, after his return from 
the trip around the world. Maj or Rountree invited him up to spend 
a day and some of us boys went down to the depot to see him come in 
on the narrow-gauge railroad recently constructed from Galena. 
Besides the Major and us boys there were very few citizens at the 
depot. But in the afternoon Major Rountree gave a public recep- 
tion at his home — and we boys went skating instead of going to see 
the General again. 

I think that on page 121 the Magazine should have referred to 
William E. Carter as of Platteville, rather than Lancaster. He was 
the leading lawyer of Platteville from the time of my earliest remem- 
brance (the early '70s) until he removed to Milwaukee, in 1895. 
Of course, he may have lived in Lancaster earlier. George B. Carter 
was a near neighbor and his family and ours were intimate friends. 

Very truly yours, 

Albert H. Sanfokt? 

La Crosse 



I want to express again my appreciation of the Wisconsin State 
Historical Society library. It is a truly wonderful institution — one 
that every American ought to know about and to be proud of. 

The opportunity to use it, especially to consult the Draper Notes 
and Manuscripts, added immensely to the pleasure of my vacation, 
and if I live, will contribute materially toward a history of Callaway 
County, Missouri, that I hope will be real history. 

I am grateful to you, to Miss , to her assistant, and to 

the fine corps of women at the library desk for many courtesies and 
helpful suggestions. May I ask you to express to them for me my 

Ovid Bell 
Fulton, Missouri 



In the three months' period ending October 10, 1919, seventeen 
persons became members of the State Historical Society. Four of 
these were life members, as follows: Henry Fetzer, Sturgeon Bay; 
William P. Gundry, Mineral Point; William H. Rueping, Fond du 
Lac ; Arthur N. Blanchard, Shorewood. 

The thirteen persons whose names follow joined the Society in - 
the capacity of annual members : Col. William J. Anderson, Madison ; 
Rev. R. A. Barnes, Madison ; Thorwald M. Beck, Racine ; Leslie M. 
Fowler, Racine; Austin F. Gratiot, Shullsburg; Elbert B. Hand, 
Racine; Edward Hutchens, Eau Claire; Thomas M. Kearney, Jr., 
Racine; Louis H. Rohr, Burlington; A. M. Simons, Milwaukee; 
Marietta Sisson, Chicago; Fulton Thompson, Racine; Mrs. Leslie 
Willson, Chippewa Falls. 

Professor R. H. Whitbeck of the geography department of the 
University and a life member of the State Historical Society is pre- 
paring for publication in the state geological survey series a volume 
on the historical and geographical development of Racine, Kenosha, 
Milwaukee, Walworth, and Waukesha counties. 

At the time of going to press (October 10) preparations for the 
annual meeting of the Society on October 23, 1919 are practically 
complete. The formal sessions will be the business meetings of the 
Society and the board of curators in the afternoon and the annual 
address in the evening. The speaker this year is Major General 
William G. Haan, during the late war commander of the Red Arrow 
Division. The subject of his address is "A Division Commander's 
Work for One Day of Battle." 

The new management of the Madison Wisconsin State Journal 
is devoting much attention to local historical subjects. We note 
particularly in this connection a series of articles which is being 
printed over the name of David Atwood on the historical development 
of Madison. 

At the annual meeting of the West Wisconsin Conference of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, held at Eau Claire in September, it 


Survey of Historical Activities 

was unanimously voted to organize a Methodist Historical Society 
for the West Wisconsin Conference; a committee of five members 
was appointed to take the matter in charge. The chairman of the 
committee is J. H. McManus of Coloma, a member of the State 
Historical Society, who is deeply interested in the early history of 
our commonwealth. The Rev. Mr. McManus is the author of "A 
Forgotten Trail" in the present issue of the Wisconsin Magazine 
of History." 

On September 1, 1844 the first regular church service in America 
by an ordained Norwegian Lutheran preacher was conducted in a 
log barn three miles south of the village of Rockdale, Dane County, 
Wisconsin. On Sunday, September 7, 1919 the seventy-fifth anniver- 
sary of this event was jointly celebrated by the two Lutheran churches 
of East Koshkonong. The anniversary sermon was preached by 
President Preus of Luther College of Decorah. The site of this 
interesting event in Norwegian- American annals is marked by a 
monument erected on the occasion of its fiftieth anniversary, twenty- 
five years ago. 

Another sign alike of the antiquity of Wisconsin and the interest 
taken by its founders in religious activities was afforded by the 
celebration on September 6 and 7, 1919 of the seventy-fifth anniver- 
sary of the Union Grove Congregational Church. The church society 
was organized September 8, 1844. Until 1852 meetings were held in 
schoolhouses. In the year noted the first church building was erected, 
to be followed by a second in 1878. 

By reason of inadequate support Racine College, one of the 
oldest institutions of higher learning in Wisconsin, has closed its doors 
and terminated its activities. The college was chartered by the 
state of Wisconsin in March, 1852. It has hundreds of alumni, many 
of them men of note, scattered throughout the country. Readers of 
this Magazine will recall with pleasure in this connection the lively 
"Recollections of Early Racine," in the June, 1919 issue, written by 
Dr. Appleton Morgan, an alumnus of the college. 

In the September, 1919 "Survey of Historical Activities" the 
death of Philo Orton of Darlington was noted, and in this connection 
the statement was erroneously made that he was the son of Judge 
Harlow Orton, one of the founders of the State Historical Society. 
To Major Frank W. Oakley of Madison, long a curator of this 
Society, we are indebted for the correction of this error. In this 

The Society and the State 


connection we may say generally (by way of stating a fact rather 
than excusing an error) that for the contents of the Survey we rely 
upon varied sources of information which, oftentimes, we are unable 
adequately to check. It follows as a matter of course that the per- 
centage of error in this section of the Magazine is likely to be higher 
than its friends and readers might desire. 

On September 5, 1919 the Waukesha County Historical Society 
held its semiannual meeting at North Lake. The beautiful afternoon 
brought out a fair attendance, notwithstanding the remoteness of the 
pretty village. President Charles D. Simonds pleaded for more 
members with such success that twelve new names were added to the 
society's roster. Custodian J. H. A. Lacher reported numerous and 
valuable additions to the society's historical collection, which has 
grown so large that more room ought to be provided for it at the 
courthouse. Miss Ida Sherman read a paper on the history of the 
town of Genesee. She was followed by Mrs. lone Gove Hawley, whose 
interesting paper and talk treated of Waukesha County music and 
musicians. Both papers are valuable contributions to local history. 
The program included vocal music by Mrs. H. A. Erickson, and the 
singing of "America," the "Star Spangled Banner," and "Auld Lang 
Syne" by the audience. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Rusk, wife of the former governor of Wisconsin, 
died at her Viroqua home, August 19, 1919. Mrs. Rusk was a native 
of Norway who came to America as a girl and in 1856 married 
Jeremiah Rusk. In earlier years Rusk, a native of Ohio, while 
employed as a stage driver had made the acquaintance of a boy-driver 
of a mule team on the canal, named James A. Garfield. Both rose to 
fame, but the career of Garfield need not detain us here. On coming 
to Wisconsin Rusk settled in Vernon County, opened a tavern, and 
drove stage between Viroqua and Prairie du Chien. He bore an active 
and honorable part in the Civil War, being mustered out at its close 
with the rank of brevet brigadier general. He served several terms in 
Congress, was three times elected governor of Wisconsin, and was the 
first United States secretary of agriculture. 

Frederick Layton, one of Milwaukee's best known citizens, and 
long a member of the State Historical Society, died August 16, 1919. 
From humble beginnings he rose to be the millionaire head of an 
important meat packing business. He had long been noted for his 
philanthropic activities; worthy of particular mention in this con- 
nection is the Layton Art Gallery which he founded and to the up- 
building of whose collections he devoted constant interest and effort 


Survey of Historical Activities 

Charles E. Vroman of this Society, a native of Madison, an 
alumnus of the University, and long a prominent lawyer of Green Bay 
and Chicago, died at his summer home near Mackinac July 30, 1919. 
For several years Mr. Vroman served as assistant general counsel 
of the St. Paul Railway, resigning this position to establish the law 
firm of Vroman, Munro and Vroman. 

Alexander Kerr, professor and emeritus professor of Greek at 
the University of Wisconsin since 1871, died at his home in Madison 
September 26, 1919. His later years were chiefly devoted to the 
translation of Plato's Republic. This work was brought to comple- 
tion after eyesight had failed him, but in the opinion of competent 
scholars the work done under this handicap does not suffer by 
comparison with the earlier portion of the work. 


One hundred years ago was born C. Latham Sholes, who by the 
invention of the typewriter placed a memorial to himself in every 
modern business office throughout the world. The movement to 
procure funds by popular subscription for the erection of a monu- 
ment to Mr. Sholes in Forest Home Cemetery, Milwaukee, has been 
previously noted in this Survey. According to a report of Charles E. 
Welles, secretary of the fund, made in July, 1919, satisfactory 
progress in raising the necessary money was being made. One-half of 
the total sum desired had been raised, chiefly through small con- 
tributions by business girls who thus testified their gratitude to Mr. 
Sholes for opening to them a field of employment for which women 
seem peculiarly adapted. The typewriter is distinctly a Wisconsin 
invention ; and Mr. Sholes is one of her sons whom the Badger State 
can richly afford to honor. 

Judge H. A. Anderson, chairman of the Trempealeau County 
War History Committee, reporting in August that the war history 
work had progressed well toward completion, added the following 
interesting information: "I declined a reelection so that I might 
devote myself more exclusively to research work. My duties as judge 
end January next. I shall immediately upon expiration of my term 
begin to put into form such data as I have collected relating to the 
soldier history first, and then turn to my work on the county collec- 
tion, as well as special fields. Who shall write the epic of the lumber 
camps and the river drivers? The facts are passing swiftly away. 
I should like to arrest a few of them before they glide too far into 

The Society and the State 


Among enterprises in the development of which Wisconsin leads 
the world is the distinctively American institution, the circus. P. T. 
Barnum was undoubtedly the king of American showmen (one of his 
most remarkable distinctions, we think, was achieved years after his 
death, when a prominent University professor delivered a lecture 
on his career as best typifying the American character) , but his day 
is past ; and just as undoubtedly the Ringling brothers of Baraboo 
dominate the American circus of the present generation. Barnum 
was a born genius — the Yankee at his best; the Ringling brothers 
are after all perhaps more typical of American character in that they 
have achieved the topmost rung of their profession by dint of unre- 
mitting toil and the exercise of plain common sense and not-so- 
common honesty, unaided by possession of unusual genius which 
despises ordinary rules of procedure. In the September, 1919 
American Magazine John Ringling tells the life story of the seven 
brothers, who were born at McGregor, Iowa, just across the river 
from Wisconsin, and offers his explanation of the success they have 

An attractively printed volume from the Collegiate Press of 
Menasha is Mary L. P. Smith's biography of Eben E. Rexford. 
Although a native of New York, Rexford's life from his seventh year 
was passed in Wisconsin; and he was thus in the fullest sense a 
product of the Badger State. Although his name may never stand 
high on the roll of American authors, he was a lovable character, and 
millions of plain men and women have read with enjoyment his stories 
and poems. His repute as author of standard works on gardening 
and floriculture was widespread. His most widely known work, 
doubtless, is the poem "Silver Threads Among the Gold," which, 
later set to music, made the circuit of the earth. Whatever critics of 
literature may think of it, this song has a human appeal which has 
touched the hearts of millions. It is said to be the favorite song of 
William J. Bryan, who is probably the best interpreter of the emotions 
of the ordinary American now living. Rexford wrote this poem at 
the early age of eighteen, and for it he received from Frank Leslie's 
the munificent sum of three dollars. The poet's home was at Shiocton, 
Wisconsin. His pen was busy until, in his final illness, he was removed 
to the hospital at Green Bay, where he died October 18, 1916. 

Steamboating on the upper Mississippi is now a thing as dead 
as Caesar's ghost, but in earlier times the great river was a mighty 
highway of commerce, and it will be many a day before the romance 
of this traffic and of the lives of those who conducted it will lose its 


Survey of Historical Activities 

power to charm the reader who turns his attention to the story o 
those adventurous days. A member of this Society, George B 
Merrick, long a resident of Madison but of old a Mississippi Rive] 
pilot, has made himself the historian of the upper Mississippi in th< 
period of its glory. His collection of records and his accumulatec 
fund of information on his chosen subject are quite unrivaled ; his book 
Old Times on the Upper Mississippi, stands alone in its particula: 
field. Six years ago Mr. Merrick began publishing in the Burlingtoi 
Saturday Evening Post a series of articles describing the boats tha 
have plied the river above St. Louis commencing with the year 182? 
and short histories of the men who operated them. The author*! 
plan was to present the boats alphabetically ; he expected to complet* 
the series in two years. It had been running five years, however, anc 
was still uncompleted when in November, 1918 Mr. Merrick wa: 
stricken with paralysis and incapacitated for continuing the work 
Some years earlier he had charged Captain Fred A. Bill of St. Pau 
with the completion of the enterprise should he himself be preventec 
from doing so. In September, therefore, Captain Bill spent twc 
weeks in Madison going over the work with Mr. Merrick. The lette] 
T had been reached when the publication of the articles was discon 
tinued a year ago. From this point, with the aid of Mr. Merrick's 
material, Captain Bill will carry on the series. Although a youngei 
man than Mr. Merrick, he commenced navigating the Mississippi ii 
1868 and was actively on the river until 1880 ; during the next twelve 
years he was in the office of the Diamond Jo Line of steamers al 
Dubuque and was indirectly connected with this line until its steamers 
were sold in 1911. Captain Bill is president of the Pioneer Rivermen's 
Association which he took the lead in organizing in 1915. 

On Labor Day, September 1, 1919 the State Historical Societ} 
and the Wisconsin Archeological Society conducted a joint pilgrim- 
age to the site of ancient Aztalan near Lake Mills. The earthworks 
and mounds at Aztalan have been regarded since the earliest settle- 
ment of Wisconsin as among the most remarkable and interesting 
archeological remains in the upper Mississippi Valley. During th< 
summer of 1919 the Milwaukee Public Museum carried on extensive 
investigations with a view to discovering whatever may still be learnec 
about the works at Aztalan. This work had been well advancec 
toward completion by Labor Day, and thus those who joined in th( 
pilgrimage were afforded the opportunity both of seeing the work oi 
the scientists in actual progress and of hearing from Dr. S. A 
Barrett, chief of the division of anthropology of the Milwaukee 
Museum, an authoritative account of the results thus far achieved 

The Society and the State 


by the work of excavation. Nature had provided an ideal day for 
the outing ; and it is doubtful whether in all Wisconsin can be found 
more beautiful pastoral scenery than that in the immediate vicinity 
of the earthworks. More than five hundred people responded to the 
invitation of the two societies, coming from Milwaukee, Madison, 
Baraboo, Fort Atkinson, Janesville, Cambridge, and numerous other 
points in southern Wisconsin. A basket luncheon was enj oyed under 
the trees, for which the residents of Lake Mills provided an unlimited 
supply of coffee and cream. After the lunch and the addresses, the 
assembled guests were conducted by Dr. Barrett and his aids in a 
tour of the mounds and other earthworks. The gratifying indication 
of public interest in the pilgrimage affords a happy augury for the 
success of similar gatherings in the future. 

Most of our readers, probably, are acquainted with the story of 
Glory of the Morning, Wisconsin's Winnebago princess of two 
centuries ago, which has been woven into a charming play by Pro- 
fessor William Ellery Leonard. Daughter of the head chief of the 
Winnebago, she married a Frenchman, Sabrevoir Decorah, who had 
come into Wisconsin as a soldier but had resigned from the service 
and entered the Indian trade. After some years of married union, and 
the birth of two sons and a daughter, Decorah left his dusky wife, 
taking with him the daughter to. Montreal to be educated. When the 
French and Indian War came on, Decorah reentered the army and 
died fighting for his country in the battle of Ste. Foye in 1760. The 
two sons of Glory of the Morning, on the separation of their parents, 
cast in their lot with her and thus remained in Wisconsin. In time 
both became chiefs of the Winnebago and left many descendants, the 
Decorahs being the most powerful Winnebago family in the early 
nineteenth century. We recall these facts to our readers apropos 
of a press dispatch from La Crosse which states that thirty-five 
descendants of Glory of the Morning enlisted in the Mauston com- 
pany in 1917 and crossed the sea to do their bit in curbing the 
German menace to America. To three of these red citizens of Wis- 
consin in particular an inspiring, albeit pathetic, story attaches. 
Bill and John Decorah were brothers who enlisted in the Mauston 
company. Their father, Foster Decorah, begged to enlist with them, 
but his forty years were against him and at first he was refused the 
coveted permission. Later, however, permission was granted, and 
father and sons crossed the sea together. Foster Decorah died a 
soldier's death in the Argonne Wood, while his sons continued to 
"carry on." Later Bill was killed and only John was left to return 
across the ocean to his native Wisconsin. For two centuries the 


Survey of Historical Activities 

name of Decorah has loomed large in Wisconsin history, but th( 
thirty-five descendants (doubtless there were others the record oi 
whose ancestry is lost) of Glory of the Morning who fought foi 
their country in the World War have attached to the ancestral name 
a new significance. Wisconsin's red men performed their full share ir 
the war, and this record deserves to be held in grateful memory by the 
commonwealth and the country they served. 

A journey of unusual interest fell to the lot of the writer oi 
these notes in August. Mention has heretofore been made in the 
"Survey" of the acquisition of valuable newspaper and manuscripi 
records of James Strang's Wisconsin Mormon colony, first at the 
sacred city of Voree from 1844 to about 1850, and then at Beavei 
Island in Lake Michigan until the overthrow of Strang and his colon} 
in the summer of 1856. Mr. Wingfield Watson, a resident of Burling- 
ton and now in his ninety-second year, became an adherent of Strang 
in 1852 and still remains his steadfast follower. In company witt 
Mr. Watson we visited Beaver Island to go over the scenes associated 
with the Strangite movement and secure whatever information might 
still be gleaned about the persons and events connected with it. The 
city of St. James, founded by King Strang and named in his honor 
is now a prosperous community, the only village on the island. On 
Whisky Point, where the unregenerate fishermen had their rendezvous, 
and against which on a certain memorable occasion the balls from 
the Mormon cannon sped their way across the tiny harbor of St. 
James, a dignified lighthouse and light keeper's home now holds 
possession. Of the home of Strang but a few signs of the foundations 
still remain, while of the Mormon temple (which was never completed) 
no trace can be found. The dock on which King Strang was 
assassinated is represented now by a decayed structure of rotting 
logs, owned, according to local information, by someone in Philadel- 
phia. The home of the royal press is still intact, being used now as 
a dwelling house. The King's Highway, which ran southward from 
St. James midway down the island, is still the one considerable high- 
way on the island; although covered with gravel along much of its 
length the original corduroys still afford forcible reminder of their 
presence as one travels over them in the omnipresent Ford. The 
printing office and the highway aside, about the only reminders of 
the departed Mormon regime are the names given by its leader to the 
different places on the island. The village of St. James still carries 
the name of its founder, James J. Strang; Mount Pisgah, the highest 
sand knoll on the island, still testifies to the Mormon habit of 
associating the scenes of everyday life with those of Scriptural times ; 

The Society and the State 


while the pond wherein the Mormons were wont to conduct their 
baptisms for the dead is still known as Font Lake, although all 
knowledge of the significance of the name has faded from the local 
mind. The material structures reared by the Mormons have vanished, 
but the names they gave, intangible as light, give promise of persist- 
ing for untold generations yet to come. 

On August 29, 1919 there died at Beaulieu, Minnesota, a native 
American whose earlier career was passed in an environment as differ- 
ent from that of his later life as though it had belonged to another 
age. May-zhuc-ke-ge-shig, chief of the Mississippi bands of Chippewa 
Indians, was born ninety or more years ago in the vicinity of Brainerd, 
Minnesota, the eldest son of Quewezance, then leading chief of the 
Chippewa. The father was killed in battle with the Sioux near the 
site of modern Stillwater, and the son succeeded to his dignity and 
responsibility at the early age of sixteen. He promptly set about 
devising or contriving plans to avenge his father's death and to this 
end accompanied the noted Hole-in-the-Day on a war expedition 
against the dreaded warriors of the plains. (Incidentally it may be 
noted that the Chippewa was the only tribe ever able to hold its 
own against the Sioux.) Somewhere near St. Paul the enemy was 
encountered. The war parties were about equal in number, but in a 
desperate fight the Sioux were overwhelmed, and the scalps of most of 
them went to adorn the belts of the victorious Chippewa braves. 
When a brave distinguished himself in battle by killing and scalping 
his foe he was usually decorated with a feather from a war eagle. An 
indication of the prowess of May-zhuc-ke-ge-shig and of the manner 
of life he led is afforded by the fact that he accumulated some twenty 
of these prized trophies. 

Other warriors have been as brave and successful as May-zhuc-ke- 
ge-shig, but we come now to a severer test of his ability for leadership 
among his people. The red man's sun was setting in the upper 
Mississippi Valley ; an alien race with another manner of life had come 
to dominate the scene. In the spring of 1867 our chief signed, along 
with other chiefs of the Mississippi Chippewa, a treaty with the 
Great Father at Washington whereby the tribesmen surrendered their 
lands to the white man and had set aside for them as a permanent 
home the reservation at White Earth. Shortly after the ratification 
of the treaty May-zhuc-ke-ge-shig and his followers abandoned their 
familiar camping grounds and followed their guides along the sad 
trail which led to the home newly assigned to them, arriving a1 the 
site of the first agency in June, 1868. From this time forth for half 
a century the chief devoted his influence for the development of his 
people in the ways of peace and civilization, striving to better the 


Survey of Historical Activities 

narrow limits prescribed for them by their segregated sphere and to 
lead them into the white man's way of life. In this endeavor he had 
the devoted aid of men like ex-Senator Henry M. Pierce, Governor 
Alexander Ramsey of Minnesota, Bishop Henry B. Whipple, and 
Bishop Thomas Grace. For these facts we are indebted to Theodore 
H. Beaulieu of White Earth, Minnesota, whose grandfather, Paul 
H. Beaulieu, was an early resident of Wisconsin and in 1800 con- 
ducted a trading post at Lac la Pluie (Rainy Lake) . Paul Beaulieu's 
wife was an aunt of May-zhuc-ke-ge-shig, and hence the biographer is 
a blood relative of the subject of his sketch. We conclude with the 
following picture of the chief, published in the St. Paul Pioneer 
Press in January, 1899 : 

"Tall, sinewy and bony, standing fully six feet in his stocking 
feet, May-zhuc-ke-ge-shig, the most popular and leading hereditary 
Chief of the Minnesota Chippewas, is a most picturesque and typical 
representative of the noble American Indian. To a stranger the 
face of this grand Chippewa Chief would seem to have been carved out 
of granite or the mummified visage of some ancient Pharo king, 
whose cold rigid features were never softened or cheered by a smile, 
yet this venerable Oracle, with flowing locks, plentifully tinged with 
gray, possesses the genial light of love and devotion in his dark kindly 
eyes and betrays the munificent tendency of a big heart, pleasing 
disposition and is very popular not only with his people but with 
every one who comes in contact with him." 

From Mrs. M. S. Stephens of Cassville has come an interesting 
addition to the Society's collection of manuscripts. The gift com- 
prises the original manuscripts of the four annual addresses of 
Governor Nelson Dewey to the state legislature of Wisconsin. In the 
case of all but the fourth, the original, old-fashioned wrapper in 
which the address was placed for permanent keeping is still intact. 

From Knud Henderson of Cambridge the Society has received 
a unique file of Wossingen, one of the early Norwegian newspapers 
established in America. Wossingen was a small sheet, issued monthlv 
and sold at twenty-five cents a year. It is peculiar among early 
Norwegian- American papers as being chiefly a medium of communi- 
cation between those who had come to America and their kindred at 
home. An account of the paper may be found in A. O. Barton's 
article, "The Beginnings of the Norwegian Press in America," pub- 
lished in the Society's Proceedings for 1916. 

A valuable addition to the Society's collection of newspapers 
is a file of Freedom's Champion published at Atchison, Kansas, 

The Society and the State 


covering the years from 1858 to 1894. In 1855 the Squatter 
Sovereign was founded at Atchison as a radical proslavery organ. 
Two years later the free state party gained control of the paper, and 
in February, 1858 John A. Martin, a young Pennsylvanian still in his 
teens who had come to Atchison only four months before, became its 
editor. Martin promptly changed the name of the paper to Freedom's 
Champion, and under this name, shorn of the qualifying adjective, it 
is still published. Although but fifty years old at the time of his 
death in 1889, Martin had for thirty years played a leading role 
in the development of Kansas. He was one of the organizers of the 
Republican party in the territory, a colonel and brevet brigadier 
general in the Civil War, state legislator, mayor of his city, and 
twice governor of Kansas. Thus, in part because of its location 
but largely because of the character of its editor, the Champion 
became one of the most important of Kansas newspapers. The file 
the Society has acquired begins with volume I, number 1 of the 
Freedom's Champion and through a third of a century of time and 
more than sixty bound volumes is practically complete. An interest- 
ing sample of the spirit of the times as reflected in the early years of 
the paper is afforded by a sarcastic editorial in the second issue under 
Martin's editorship entitled "How Great are Thy People, Oh! 
Kickapoo!" At this place, whose material surroundings, like its 
name, reflected the atmosphere of the American wilderness, the slave 
state party under the inspiration of the "border- ruffians" of Missouri 
had returned over a thousand badly-needed ballots for their cause in 
the election of December, 1857 on the adoption of a proslavery state 
constitution. A commission which was promptly appointed to investi- 
gate frauds in the election procured the original poll book of votes 
cast by the residents of Kickapoo. By this "it appears that James 
Buchanan, President of the U. S. and resident of Kickapoo, was the 
270th voter; casting a ballot for the Constitution with Slavery — 
a fact which conclusively proves the vote is veritable. Next on 
this roll of illustrious names comes W. H. Seward as the 176th voter — 
a ballot somewhat unaccountable, as the distinguished Senator from 
New York was at that time making speeches against the Constitution 
at Washington: But we suppose it is all right — who in Kickapoo 
would be guilty of frauds?" After further comment on now-departed 
illustrious one-day residents of Kickapoo, which we omit, the editor 
continues: "Thomas H. Benton here takes a 'view' of the Kickapoo 
polls, as the 916th voter; and then with white coat all in trim cornea 
Horace Greeley, who deposits the 980th ballot. The last scene of the 
drama is now on the tapis, and in all the majesty of a first appearance 
before a Kansas audience, in struts Edwin Forrest, the great trage 


Survey of Historical Activities 

dian, as the 1056th voter — positively his last appearance on the 
Kansas boards — and down goes the curtain." 

From the fact that in the great collection of Kansas newspapers 
belonging to the state historical society at Topeka the file of the 
Champion begins with the year 1876, it seems fairly probable that 
for the first eighteen years the file which has now come to Madison 
is the only one now in existence. 


George Edwin Bryant was an outstanding figure in Wisconsin's 
contribution to the Civil War. Born on February 11, 1832, in Mas- 
sachusetts, he was educated at Norwich University, Vermont, studied 
law, and came to Wisconsin about 1856. He was active in organizing 
the Governor's Guard and the Madison Guards, and as captain of the 
latter became part of the First Volunteer Infantry sent forward in 
March, 1861 to the front. The following September he was com- 
missioned colonel of the Twelfth Infantry and led that regiment 
through all its vicissitudes, in Missouri and Kansas, around Vicks- 
burg, in the Atlanta campaign, and in Sherman's March to the Sea. 
During part of the time Colonel Bryant commanded a brigade but 
was never granted the rank of brigadier general — his title coming 
from militia service after the war. In this later period of his career 
he served the state and community in many capacities, — as county 
judge, postmaster, legislator, superintendent of public property, 
etc. He died at his home near Madison, February 16, 1907. His son 
Frank H. Bryant has presented to the Society a number of his 
father's Civil War papers, which cover in time the entire four years 
of the conflict. Among them we note the original muster roll of the 
famous Company E of the First Wisconsin Regiment that having 
been organized as the Madison Guards was offered to the governor 
for the country's service before the firing upon Sumter. Among 
other rolls is one made out by Simeon Mills, signed by William L. 
Utley, of the companies enrolled in October, 1861 in the Twelfth 
Wisconsin. There follows in point of time the certificates given by 
Colonel Bryant to the railroads that transported his regiment to 
Missouri, and then in succession orders and military documents, some 
of them signed by General Grenville M. Dodge, who was later to build 
the Union Pacific Railway. 

Some of the most interesting of the papers are copies of letters 
to President Lincoln urging the promotion of Colonel Bryant to the 
rank of brigadier general; these were signed by every officer in the 
regiment and by many of his superior officers and testify not only to 
his worth as a soldier but to the personal regard he inspired in all 

The Society and the State 


who served with him. Although these requests were never honored 
by the desired rank, Colonel Bryant had the satisfaction of knowing 
how highly his colleagues and comrades regarded him. 

There are in this collection but few private letters and such as 
there are are on military subjects. Among the writers are Senator 
Timothy O. Howe and General James K. Proudfit. The collection 
as a whole is a valuable addition to the Society's growing store of 
Civil War material. 


In the decade following the Civil War the lumbering corporation 
of Knapp, Stout and Company at Menomonie, Wisconsin was reputed 
to be the largest in the world. The senior member of the firm was 
John Holley Knapp, who was born in Elmira, New York, March 29, 
1825 and came west with his father (of the same name) in 1835. The 
Knapp family settled at Fort Madison on the Mississippi ; and young 
Knapp grew up among the steamboat and raftsmen of the great 
river. In 1846 he visited the pineries on the Chippewa River in 
company with Captain William Wilson, an older lumberman. Young 
Knapp invested his capital of a thousand dollars in a sawmill, and 
thereafter spent his life in developing the lumber trade. He had 
several partners during the early days, Andrew Tainter and James 
H. Stout being the best known. Fortunately two of Mr. Knapp's 
early diaries have been preserved and have recently been deposited 
with the Society by his son, Henry E. Knapp of Menomonie. These 
cover the formative years 1848 and 1851, and are a valuable source 
of study for the early lumbering industry. 

Mr. Knapp's share of the business was the buying and trans- 
portation of supplies and goods from the river to the pinery and the 
sale and disposal of the sawed lumber from the rafts as they floated 
down the stream. These activities kept him traveling from point to 
point on steamboats, by horseback, in stage coaches, and on his own 
lumber rafts, all the way from St. Louis to Lake Pepin. As the rafts 
came down he would meet them on the river and endeavor to sell from 
them lath, shingles, and boards, sometimes disposing of a crib or two 
at a time, occasionally selling to a dealer the entire raft. In his 
diary for 1848 Mr. Knapp frequently complains of the lack of a 
market. "Lumber cant be sold in Galena at this time," he writes 
on August thirteenth. "The market is glutted & no cash on hand 
to buy with." At one river port he exchanged lath and shingles for 
a yoke of cattle. Finally he succeeded in selling the entire raft. 

Again he made a visit to the mill, going up on a steamboat to 
Nelson's Landing in Lake Pepin, riding horseback through the wil- 


Survey of Historical Activities 

derness. All was well at the mill, and the garden had produced i 
thousand bushels of potatoes and a thousand cabbages. Upon on 
of his visits to the mills in 1851 Mr. Knapp met the first Methodis 
itinerant in the Chippewa country. At Prairie du Chien on his wa 1 
down he listened to a "biological lecture" where there was afterward 
a dance. 

Mr. Knapp was no mere devotee of business; his diary show 
how many were his interests and how full his life. He was a grea 
reader and commented with good judgment on what he read. A 
St. Louis he went often to see good plays, mentioning in his diar 
that he once saw Charlotte Cushman in the "Hunchback." Whei 
possible he attended divine service and gave good heed to the sermons 
Once he visited Galesburg and vividly describes the embryo college 
the academy with its pretty girls, and the library "which is quit 
an extensive one for so young an institution." In his leisure hour 
he studied Latin and perused "Paradise Lost." He likewise enjoye< 
social life and was greeted by friendly invitations at most of th 
river towns where he stopped. 

In 1849 Mr. Knapp brought a bride from Massachusetts to For 
Madison, and the opening entry in his diary of 1851 records th 
birth of his son Henry. Thereafter home was his first interest, am 
he eagerly turned thither after every trip up or down the river. Ii 
1848 Mr. Knapp voted for Zachary Taylor but appears to hav< 
taken no active share in politics. He was a member of the Masonit 
order and occasionally attended lodge. His diaries reveal the tru 
character of the man, upright, honorable, of unblemished integrity 
untiring industry, and neighborly kindness. Of such were the com 
monwealth builders of the Great West. 


We venture to recall to our readers an anecdote of ante bellun 
days which is now venerable enough to gain admission to the column! 
of a magazine of history. A Kentucky slave, who had obtainec 
license to preach, was discoursing to his flock on the process o: 
Adam's creation : "When God made Adam," he said, "he stoop down 
scrape up a li'l dirt, wet it a li'l, warm it a li'l in he hands, squeez< 
it in de right shape, and den lean it up agin de fence to dry — " 

"Stop right dere," interrupted a member of the flock who wa: 
possessed of meditative proclivities, "you say dat are de fustest mai 
eber made?" 

"Sarten," said the preacher. 

"Den," rejoined his questioner, "jes tell a feller whar dat *ai 
fence come from?" 

The Society and the State 


"Hush yo mouf !" cried the preacher. "Two more questions like 
dat 'ud spile all de theology in de worl." 

Apropos of which we are moved to observe that in history as 
in theology it is a hazardous thing to speak with assurance about 
the first beginnings of things. We are taught in the schools that 
Columbus discovered America in 1492. Yet a distinguished curator 
of this Society once wrote a book with the title America not Discov- 
ered by Christopher Columbus; and at the present time there are 
those who believe in the authenticity of the Kensington Rune Stone, 
which indicates the presence of Norsemen in Minnesota in the year 
1362. Were Jolliet and Marquette the first white men to see the 
upper Mississippi? Or was Robert Peary (or Dr. Cook, as the case 
may be) the first to visit the north pole? The recent discovery of 
a fascinating diary of life in Wisconsin a century and more ago 
gives local point to these reflections. Hitherto our earliest knowledge 
of logging on Black River — several tantalizingly scanty allusions 
aside — has had to do with some pioneer lumbermen who began 
operations about the year 1840. The newly-discovered diary carries 
the story backward more than two decades, revealing that white men 
were logging at Black River Falls as early as 1818 and rendering 
it fairly probable (although positive information of this is lacking) 
that others had engaged in the industry here at a still earlier date. 

The diary in question was kept by Willard Keyes, a resident of 
Wisconsin from 1817 to 1819, and is now owned by a grandson who 
lives in California. By him it has been loaned to the Society for the 
purpose of making an accurate copy. The diary itself is an intensely 
interesting document and richly deserves publication either in this 
Magazine or in another suitable medium. Keyes was a young Ver- 
monter who in June, 1817, "impelled by a curiosity or desire of 
seeing other places" than those of his home vicinity, set forth "in- 
tending to travel into the western parts of the United States." That 
in his wildest dreams he had not anticipated more than a fraction 
of what subsequently befell him becomes evident as we proceed with 
the journal which he began keeping on the day of his departure 
from home. The "western parts" of the United States was then an 
extensive region, and our adventurer set forth apparently with no 
definite idea as to whither his travels might lead him. As so often 
in real life, pure chance determined his entire future, and incidentally 
the writing of the present notice. Passing westward to Albany and 
beyond, he fell in with one Constant Andrews. Andrews was a member 
of the party of the Rev. Samuel Peters, who was coming to Wisconsin 
in pursuit of that will-o-the-wisp, the Carver Grant, with a view t<> 
establishing his colony of Petersylvania. The story of Petersyl- 


Survey of Historical Activities 

vania yet awaits writing (the recovery of the Keyes diary will prove 
of material assistance in writing it), and we venture to doubt whethei 
a single one of the learned readers of this Magazine has ever ever 
heard the name, heretofore, of this abortive colony. The name of ib 
progenitor is a familiar one, however, for Peters was an ex-Connecti 
cut Tory clergyman who achieved lasting fame (or infamy, depend 
ing on the point of view one takes) by publishing in London in 1781 e 
General History of Connecticut, wherein, along with much inno- 
cent matter, the foibles of his erstwhile neighbors were exposed tc 
the world in such fashion as to win for the author the undying ani- 
mosity of all loyal sons of the Nutmeg State. Now, well beyonc 
the age of four score, the venerable author was seeking to win foi 
himself a truly imperial dominion in the wilds of modern Wisconsin 
Andrews urged Keyes to join Peters' party, and after earnest anc 
pious reflection upon the probable consequences of such a course, h( 
concluded to do so. Thus it was that he made the long and dangerous 
journey, chiefly by canoe and Mackinaw boat, to Prairie du Chier 
in the summer of 1817 and became for the ensuing two years a resi- 
dent of this curious and already venerable wilderness outpost. The 
only law in vogue was that of the military; and this was dispensed 
at the time of Peters' arrival by a born autocrat, Colonel Talbot 
Chambers. This dignitary prevented Peters, notwithstanding his 
credentials, from proceeding into the Sioux country (his destination 
was the River bands of Sioux m the vicinity of the mouth of the 
St. Peters) ; and after a six-months' wait in vain the old man, dis- 
appointed but not despairing, made the long journey back to New 
York City. Here he died in poverty some eight years later, having 
striven to the end to gain recognition of his claim to the Carver 
Grant. Keyes stayed in Prairie du Chien, taught school for a time 
(incidentally we learn that he was not Wisconsin's first pedagogue, 
for another New Englander had preceded him as teacher at Prairie 
du Chien), helped to build and then operate a gristmill, likewise to 
build and operate a sawmill, and as already noted passed his second 
winter in the West logging at Black River Falls. In the spring of 
1819 with infinite difficulty he piloted his raft down the Black and 
the Mississippi, bade farewell to Prairie du Chien, and like Huckle- 
berry Finn of more recent fame floated down the great river in searcl 
of further adventure. A few years later he turned up as one of the 
founders of Quincy, Illinois, prospered with the growth of the city 
and long before his death a half century later had come to be regardec 
as one of the pillars of the community. But our present interest ir 
him ceases when his raft cuts loose from its moorings at Prairie di 
Chien, terminating therewith its owner's career as a resident oJ 

The Society and the State 


future Badgerdom. The finding of this diary after a hundred years 
of obscurity would constitute in itself an interesting story, but 
lack of space forbids our telling it here. The discovery and preserva- 
tion of the Willard Keyes diary should afford gratification to all 
who are interested in the records of Wisconsin's past. 


James H. McManus ("A Forgotten Trail") has been for forty 
years a pastor attached to the West Wisconsin Conference of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. His present contribution indicates ► 
to some extent what his intellectual tastes and diversions have been 
during this period. 

Hjalmar R. Holand ("The Kensington Rune Stone") is a farmer 
and orchardist at Ephraim, who has long concerned himself with 
local history. In the present article he explains how he became 
interested in the Kensington Rune Stone, about which a lengthy 
debate has been waged in recent years. Mr. Holand is the most 
active champion of the historicity of the rune stone and his present 
article is the latest word on the affirmative side of the debate. 

W. A. Titus ("Historic Spots in Wisconsin: I. Portage, the 
Break in a Historic Waterway") is a native of Fond du Lac County, 
where he now resides. Mr. Titus has long pursued the study of 
archeology and has built up a notable archeological collection. He 
is a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of Wisconsin 
and life member of the State Historical Society. The present is the 
first of a series of articles by Mr. Titus on the general subject 
to be printed in the Magazine. 

Louise P. Kellogg ("The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848") is 
senior research member of the staff of the State Historical Society 
and a frequent contributor to its publications. 

William F. Whyte ("Observations of a Contract Surgeon") is 
a native of Scotland who came to Wisconsin in childhood and for 
forty years practiced medicine at Watertown. Dr. Why to lias been 
a member of the State Board of Health for twenty-one yean and 
its president for sixteen years. He has previously written for this 
Society "The Settlement of the Town of Lebanon, Dodge County* 1 
(in Proceedings for 1915) and "The Watertown Railway Bond 
Fight" (in Proceedings for 1916). 


Survey of Historical Activities 


A joint meeting of the Michigan Pioneer and Historical and the 
Menominee County Historical societies was held at Menominee, 
Michigan, August 6 and 7, 1919. Among the numerous addresses 
delivered were several dealing with phases of the history of Menomi- 
nee, of Iron and Dickinson counties, and of the Upper Peninsula 
in general. The recent gathering was the fourth annual meeting of 
the Pioneer and Historical Society devoted to the interests of the 
Upper Peninsula. 

The July, 1919 issue of the Michigan History Magazine contains 
the usual lengthy list of historical contributions. Among them we 
note the following as being of more particular interest to readers 
of this magazine : "Historical Work after the War," by Augustus 
C. Carton; "The Forests of the Upper Peninsula and their Place 
in History," by Alvah L. Sawyer; "Place Names in the Upper 
Peninsula," by W. F. Gagnieur; and "History of the Marquette 
Ore Docks," by D. H. Merritt. 

The annual volume of Transactions of the Illinois State Histori- 
cal Society for 1918 came to hand in September, 1919. It contains 
the addresses delivered at the centennial meeting of the Society in 
May, 1918, several of which are of much interest. Among them we 
note "Virginia in the Making of Illinois," by H. J. Eckenrode; 
"Illinois in the Democratic Movement of the Century," by Allen 
Johnson; and "Establishing the American Colonial System in the 
Old Northwest," by E. J. Benton. The most considerable contribu- 
tion to the volume in point of length is Andrew J. Mills' narrative 
"One Hundred Years of Sunday School History in Illinois." 

In Volume V of the Wisconsin Historical Collections are printed 
the pioneer recollections of John H. Fonda of Prairie du Chien which 
originally appeared serially in the Prairie du Chien Courier in 1858. 
Although much of Fonda's life was passed in Wisconsin, by about 
the year 1819 he had migrated from New York to Texas, and the 
next few years were for him a life of adventure and hardship in the 
far Southwest. The portion of Fonda's recollections dealing with 
this period of his life has been reprinted with appropriate editorial 
comment in the July Southwestern Historical Quarterly. The editor 
introduces Fonda to the Quarterly's readers as "a practically over- 
looked explorer and trader in the Southwest." 

The Wider Field 


For many years the Lakeside Press of Chicago has published 
annually for gratuitous distribution at Christmas time a small vol- 
ume dealing with some phase of Middle Western history, and for 
the last three years the editing of this volume has been done by M. M. 
Quaife of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. The volume 
for the present year is entitled A Woman's Picture of Pioneer Illinois. 
It is a reprint, with historical introduction and appropriate editing, 
of the recollections of Mrs. Christiana H. Tillson, who came as a 
bride from her native Massachusetts to the very edge of the Illinois 
frontier in 1822. Originally printed privately for family distribu- 
tion, the volume has long since become exceedingly rare. A canvass of 
the leading reference libraries of the country disclosed but three 
copies of the book — at Madison, at Chicago, and at Springfield, Illi- 
nois. More recently two more copies have been found, both in the 
Quincy Historical Society collection. The new edition in the Lakeside 
Classics series should give to this charming narrative a fresh lease 
of life. 


of The Wisconsin Magazine of History, published quarterly at 
Menasha, Wis., required by the Act of August 24, 1912. 

Name of — Postoffice Address 

Editor, M. M. Quaife Madison, Wis. 

Managing Editor, none. 
Business Manager, none. 

Publisher, George Bant a Menasha, Wis. 

Owners, The State Historical Society of Wisconsin Madison, Wis. 

President, Wm. K. Coffin Eau Claire, Wis. 

Superintendent, M. M. Quaife Madison, Wis. 

No Stockholders. 

Known bondholders, mortgagees, and other security holders, holding 
1 per cent or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages, or other 
securities : 


George Banta, Publisher. 
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 30th day of September, 1919. 

[seal] Gertrude W. Sawyer, 

Notary Public. 
(My commission expires March 21, 1920.) 

From the London (1781) edition of Carver's Travels 

VOL. Ill, NO. 3 

MARCH, 1920 



SIN. Edited by MILO M. 
QUAIFE, Superintendent 



An Experiment of the Fathers in State Social- 
ism M. M. Quaife 277 

The Early History of Jonathan Carver 

William Browning 291 

A Physician in Pioneer Wisconsin . . John C. Reeve 306 

The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848 

. . Louise Phelps Kellogg 314 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin W. A. Titus 327 

Further Discoveries concerning the Kensington 

Rune Stone H.R. Holand 332 

Documents : 

A Journal of Life in Wisconsin One Hundred 
Years Ago : Kept by Willard Keyes of Newfane, 
Vermont 339 

The Question Box: 

Origin of the Name "Wisconsin" ; Historical Asso- 
ciations of Sinsinawa; Old Trails around Eau 
Claire; Winnebago Villages on Rock River 364 

Communications : 

Recollections of Chief May-zhuc-ke-ge-shig ; Gen- 
eral Porter and General Parker; The Preserva- 
tion of Wisconsin's First Capitol 372 

Survey of Historical Activities: 

The Society and the State; The Wider Field 376 

The Society as a body is not responsible for statements or opinions advanced 
in the following pages by contributors. 



M. M. Quaife 

The rapid advance of recent years along the pathway of 
state socialism has commonly been regarded as a new phenom- 
enon in American life, as, indeed, in many respects it is. 
Curiously enough, however, one of its most advanced and 
recent manifestations, the entrance of the government upon 
the field of retail merchandising with a view to controlling 
prices in the supposed interest of the general public as opposed 
to the machinations of a set of grasping middlemen, closely 
repeats in many particulars a notable and now long-forgotten 
experiment of the United States government in the field of 
retail trade a century and more ago. Some account of the 
hopes entertained by the governmental authorities who ini- 
tiated the enterprise and their disappointment as the result of 
actual trial may afford entertainment and mayhap even profit 
to readers in the present juncture of public affairs. 

The ancient experiment of the government in retail mer- 
chandising was designed, like the recent one, to lower the cost 
of living and promote the contentment of mind of the public 
in whose interest it was instituted. Instead of citizens of the 
United States, however, that public consisted of an alien and 
inferior race, the red men along our far flung frontier. The 
origin of the policy of governmental trading houses for the 
Indians dates from the early colonial period. In the Ply- 
mouth and Jamestown settlements all industry was at first 
controlled by the commonwealth and in Massachusetts Bay 
the stock company had reserved to itself the trade in furs be- 
fore leaving England. In the last-named colony a notable 
experiment was carried on during the first half of the eight- 
eenth century in conducting "truck houses" for the Indians. 


M. M. Quaife 

About the middle of the century Benjamin Franklin, whose 
attention had been called to the abuses which the Indians of 
the Pennsylvania frontier were suffering at the hands of 
private traders, investigated the workings of the Massachu- 
setts system and recommended the establishment of public 
trading houses at suitable places along the frontier. 

The first step toward the establishment of a national 
system of Indian trading houses was taken under the guidance 
of the ommiscient Franklin during the opening throes of the 
American Revolution. To the second Continental Congress 
the establishment of friendly relations with the Indians 
appeared a matter of "utmost moment." Accordingly it was 
resolved July 12, 1775 to establish three Indian trading 
departments, a northern, a middle, and a southern, with 
appropriate powers for supervising the relations of the 
United Colonies with the Indians. In November of the same 
year a committee, of which Franklin was a member, was 
directed to devise a plan for carrying on trade with the 
Indians and ways and means for procuring the goods for it. 

Acting upon the report of this committee Congress 
adopted a series of resolutions outlining a general system of 
governmental supervision of the Indian trade and appropriat- 
ing the sum of 40,000 pounds to purchase goods for it. These 
were to be disposed of by licensed traders, acting under in- 
structions laid down by the commissions and under bond to 
them to insure compliance with the prescribed regulations. 
The following month Congress further manifested its good 
intentions toward the native race by passing resolutions ex- 
pressing its faith in the benefits to accrue from the propaga- 
tion of the gospel and the civil arts among the red men and 
directing the commissioners of Indian affairs to report upon 
suitable places in their departments for establishing school- 
masters and ministers of the gospel. 

The exigencies of the war, absorbing all the energies of the 
new government, soon frustrated this new plan, and not until 

An Experiment in State Socialism 


1786 was a systematic effort made to regulate the Indian 
trade. In that year the Indian department was divided into 
two districts, a superintendent and a deputy being appointed 
for each. They were to execute the regulations of Congress 
relating to Indian affairs. Only citizens of the United States 
whose good moral character had been certified by the governor 
of a state were eligible to licenses ; they were to run for one year 
and to be granted upon the payment of fifty dollars and the 
execution of a bond to insure compliance with the regulations 
of the Indian department. To engage in trade without a 
license incurred a penalty of five hundred dollars and for- 
feiture of goods. 

This was, apparently, a judicious system, but the govern- 
ment of the Confederation had about run its course and the 
general paralysis which overtook it, together with the confu- 
sion attendant upon the establishment of the new national 
government, prevented the new policy toward the Indians 
from being carried into effect. Prominent among the prob- 
lems which pressed upon the new government for solution was 
the subject of Indian relations and in this connection the 
question of the regulation of the Indian trade. In 1790 the 
licensing system of 1786 was temporarily adopted, shorn of 
some of its more valuable features, however. There was no 
prohibition against foreigners, and no license fee was re- 
quired. This system was continued without essential change 
until 1816, when an act was passed prohibiting foreigners 
from trading with Indians in the United States except by 
special permission of the president and under such regula- 
tions as he might prescribe. 

The young government shortly entered upon the most 
serious Indian war in all its history and not until one of its 
armies had been repulsed and another destroyed did Anthony 
Wayne succeed in extorting from the hostile red men a 
recognition of the government he represented. At the close 
of this war Congress, at the instigation of Washington, 


M. M. Quaife 

determined to experiment with another system of conduct- 
ing the Indian trade. In the session of 1795, stirred up by the 
repeated recommendations of Washington, that body debated 
a bill for the establishment of Indian trading houses. Though 
the bill was defeated at this time its purpose as stated by its 
supporters is worth noting. It was regarded as constituting 
a part only of a comprehensive frontier policy; this policy 
embraced the threefold design of the military protection of 
the frontier against Indian invasions, the legal protection of 
the Indian country against predatory white incursions, and 
the establishment of trading houses to supply the wants of the 
Indians and free them from foreign influence. It was believed 
that these three things embraced in one system would bring 
about the great desideratum, peace on the frontier; but that 
without the last the other parts of the plan would prove 
totally ineffectual. 

The defeat of the advocates of the system of government 
trading houses in 1795 was neither final nor complete. Their 
principal measure had failed of passage, but at this same 
session Congress appropriated the sum of fifty thousand 
dollars to begin the establishment of public trading houses, 
and two were accordingly started among the Cherokee, 
Creeks, and Chickasaw of the Southwest. The next year a 
second act was passed, carrying an appropriation of one 
hundred and fifty thousand dollars in addition to an annual 
allowance for the payment of agents and clerks. The presi- 
dent was authorized to establish trading houses at such places 
as he saw fit for carrying on a "liberal trade" with the Indians. 
The agents and clerks employed were prohibited from engag- 
ing in trade on their own account and were required to give 
bonds for the faithful performance of their duties. The act 
was to run for two years, and the trade was to be so conducted 
that the capital sum should suffer no diminution. 

Until 1803, however, nothing was done to extend the 
system of trading houses thus experimentally begun in 

An Experiment in State Socialism 


1795. In the debates over the passage of the act of 
1796 it was made evident that even the supporters of the 
measure regarded it in the light of an experiment. The 
recent war had cost one and a half million dollars annually; 
it was worth while to try another method of securing peace on 
the frontier. Since the Canadian trading company was too 
powerful for individual Americans to compete with success- 
fully, the government must assume the task. If upon trial 
the plan should prove a failure it could be abandoned. On 
the other hand it was objected that public bodies should not 
engage in trade, which was always managed better by in- 
dividuals; fraud and loss could not be guarded against; nor 
should the people be taxed for the sake of maintaining trade 
with the Indians. In spite of these objections and prophecies, 
the report of 1801 showed that the original capital had suff ered 
no diminution, but had, in fact, been slightly increased; this, 
too, despite losses that had been incurred through the failure 
of the sales agent, to whom they had been assigned, to dispose 
of the peltries before many had become ruined. 

In January, 1803 the powerful influence of President 
Jefferson was put behind the development of the government 
trading house system. He stated in a message to Congress 
on the subject that private traders, both domestic and foreign, 
were being undersold and driven from competition; that the 
system was effective in conciliating the goodwill of the 
Indians; and that they were soliciting generally the establish- 
ment of trading houses among them. At the same time the 
Secretary of War reported the establishment of four new 
stations at Detroit, Fort Wayne, Chickasaw Bluffs, and 
among the Choctaw, to which the remainder of the money 
appropriated in 1796 had been applied. This remained the 
number until 1805, when four more were established at 
Arkansas on the Arkansas River, at Nachitoches on the Red 
River, at Belle Fontaine near the mouth of the Missouri, and 
at Chicago. The following year a trading house was estab- 


M. M. Quaife 

lished at Sandusky on Lake Erie, and in 1808 three more at 
Mackinac, at Fort Osage, and at Fort Madison. Meanwhile 
the two original houses had been removed to new locations and 
two others, those at Detroit and at Belle Fontaine, had been 

From 1808 until the beginning of the War of 1812 there 
were thus twelve factories in operation. At each was stationed 
an agent or factor and at most an assistant or clerk as well. 
The salaries of the former prior to 1810 ranged from $750 
to $1,250, in most cases not exceeding $1,000; the pay of the 
latter from $250 to $650 ; in both cases subsistence was granted 
in addition. In 1 810 the superintendent of the trade estimated 
that of the total amount of $280,000, which had been invested 
in the business, $235,000 still remained ; the loss in the capital 
invested to this date was therefore, in round numbers, $45,000. 
The four-year period ending in 1815, on the other hand, in 
spite of the disturbance to trade which attended the operations 
of the War of 1812, produced a profit of $60,000. Approxi- 
mately three-fourths of this gain was swallowed up in the 
destruction during the war of the factories at Chicago, Fort 
Wayne, Sandusky, Mackinac, and Fort Madison; however 
this was the fortune of war and not in any way the fault of 
the system. 

Upon the conclusion of peace with Great Britain in 1815 
fresh plans were laid for the extension of the department of 
Indian trade. Although the territory northwest of the Ohio 
River had been ceded to the United States by the Treaty of 
Paris of 1783, down to the War of 1812 American sovereign- 
ty had been but imperfectly established over much of this 
region. Even the limited measure of control which had been 
gained prior to 1812 was largely lost during the war, and the 
British diplomats strove earnestly at Ghent to render this 
loss permanent by erecting south of the lakes an Indian barrier 
state which should forever protect the English in Canada 
from the advancing tide of American settlement. This effort 

An Experiment in State Socialism 


failed, however, and the War Department moved promptly 
to the establishment of American authority in the Northwest. 

The restoration and extension of the system of govern- 
ment trading houses was an integral part of the program ; and 
hand in hand with the rebuilding of forts or the founding of 
new ones at such points as Mackinac, Green Bay, Chicago, 
and Prairie du Chien went the establishment of factories at 
the points of greatest strategic importance. The system 
continued in operation until the summer of 1822 when in 
response to a vigorous campaign waged by Senator Benton 
against it, it was suddenly abolished. To the reasons for this 
action and a consideration of the failure of the system our 
attention may now be turned. 

The government trading-house system had been estab- 
lished under the influence of a twofold motive. The primary 
consideration of the government's Indian policy was the main- 
tenance of peace on the frontier. This could best be accom- 
plished by rendering the Indian contented and by freeing him 
from the influence of foreigners. Not merely his happiness, 
but his very existence depended upon his securing from 
the whites those articles which he needed but which he him- 
self could not produce; and since the private traders took 
advantage of his weakness and ignorance to exploit him 
outrageously in the conduct of the Indian trade, it was argued 
that the welfare of the Indian would be directly promoted and 
indirectly the peace of the frontier be conserved by the 
establishment of government trading houses upon the prin- 
ciples that have been indicated. 

The theory underlying the government factory system 
seemed sound, but in practice several obstacles to its success f ul 
working, powerful enough in the aggregate to cause its aban- 
donment, were encountered. Not until 1816 was an act passed 
excluding foreigners from the trade, and even then such ex- 
ceptions were allowed as to render the prohibition of little 
value. The amount of money devoted to the factory system 


M . M. Quaife 

was never sufficient to permit its extension to more than a 
small proportion of the tribes. However well conducted 
the business may have been, this fact alone would have pre- 
vented the attainment of the larger measure of benefit that 
had been anticipated. 

Another and inherent cause of failure lay in the difficulty 
of public operation of a business so special and highly com- 
plicated in character as the conduct of the Indian trade. 
Great shrewdness, intimate knowledge of the native character, 
and a willingness to endure great privations were among the 
qualifications essential to its successful prosecution. The 
private trader was at home with the red men ; his livelihood 
depended upon his exertions; and he was free from the moral 
restraints which governed the conduct of the government 
factor. Above all he was his own master, free to adapt his 
course to the exigencies of the moment; the factor was 
hampered by regulations prescribed by a superintendent who 
resided far distant from the western country; and he, in turn, 
by a Congress which commonly turned a deaf ear to his 
repeated appeals for amendment of the act governing the 
conduct of the trade. The factor's income was assured regard- 
less of the amount of trade he secured; nor was he affected by 
losses due to error of judgment on his part, as was the private 
trader. Too often he had at the time of his appointment no 
acquaintance with the Indian or with the business put in his 
charge. To instance a single case : Jacob Varnum at the time 
of his appointment to the Sandusky factory was a native of 
rural New England, who had neither asked nor desired such 
an appointment. It is doubtful whether he had ever seen an 
Indian ; he was certainly entirely without mercantile experi- 
ence ; yet he had for competitors shrewd and able men who had 
spent practically their whole lives in the Indian trade. 

The goods for the government trade must be bought in 
the United States ; the peltries secured in its conduct must be 
sold here. This worked disaster to the enterprise in various 

An Experiment in State Socialism 


ways. From their long experience in supplying the Indian 
trade the English had become expert in the production of 
articles suited to the red man's taste. It was impossible for the 
government buying in the United States to match in quality 
and in attractiveness to the Indian the goods of the Canadian 
trader. Even if English goods were purchased of American 
importers, the factory system was handicapped by reason of 
the higher price which must be paid. On the other hand the 
prohibition against the exportation of peltries compelled the 
superintendent of the trade to dispose of them in the Ameri- 
can market. Experience proved that the domestic demand 
for peltries, particularly for deer skins, did not equal the 
supply; therefore the restriction frequently occasioned 
financial loss. But there were further restrictions in the act 
of 1806 which narrowed the choice of a market even within the 
United States. That these restrictions would operate to 
diminish the business and accordingly the influence of the 
government trading houses is obvious. 

Another group of restrictions worked injury to the factory 
system through their failure to accommodate the habits and 
desires of the Indian. To trade with the government the 
Indian must come to the factory. The private trader took his 
goods to the Indian. The red man was notably lacking in 
prudence and thrift and was careless and heedless of the 
future. He was, too, a migratory being, his winters being 
devoted to the annual hunt, which frequently carried him 
several hundred miles away from his summer residence. 
Before setting out on such a hunt he must secure a suitable 
equipment of supplies. Since he never had money accumu- 
lated, this must be obtained on credit and be paid for with the 
proceeds of the ensuing winter's hunt. The factor was pro- 
hibited, for the most part, from extending such credit: the 
private trader willingly granted it, and furthermore, he 
frequently followed the Indian on his hunt to collect his pay 
as fast as the furs were taken. In such cases as the factor did 


M. M. Quaife 

extend credit to the Indian, the private trader often succeeded 
in wheedling him out of the proceeds of his hunt, leaving him 
nothing with which to discharge his debt to the factor. 

The greatest advantage, perhaps, enjoyed by the private 
trader involved at the same time the most disgraceful feature 
connected with the Indian trade. From the first association 
of the Indian with the white race his love of liquor proved his 
greatest curse. The literature of the subject abounds in nar- 
rations of this weakness and the unscrupulous way in which 
the white man took advantage of it. For liquor the red man 
would barter his all. It constituted an indispensable part of 
the trader's outfit, and all of the government's prohibitions 
against its use in the Indian trade were in vain, as had been 
those of the French and British governments before it. The 
Indians themselves realized their fatal weakness, but although 
they frequently protested against the bringing of liquor to 
them, they were powerless to overcome it. The factor had no 
whisky for the Indian ; consequently the private trader secured 
his trade. 

The remedy for this state of affairs is obvious. Either 
the government should have monopolized the Indian trade, at 
the same time extending the factory system to supply its 
demands, or else the factory system should have been aban- 
doned and the trade left entirely to private individuals under 
suitable governmental regulation. The former course had 
been urged upon Congress at various times, but no disposition 
to adopt it had ever been manifested. The time had now 
arrived to adopt the other alternative. As a resident of St. 
Louis and senator from Missouri Benton was the immediate 
spokesman in Congress of the powerful group of St. Louis 
fur traders, who, like their rivals of the American Fur Com- 
pany and, indeed, all the private traders, were bitterly 
antagonistic to the government trading houses. Soon after he 
entered the Senate Benton urged upon Calhoun, then secre- 
tary of war, the abolition of the system. Calhoun, however, 

An Experiment in State Socialism 


entertained a high opinion of the superintendent of Indian 
trade and refused to credit the charges of maladministration 
preferred by Benton. This refusal led Benton to open a 
direct assault upon the system in the Senate. In this two 
advantages favored his success : as an inhabitant of a frontier 
state he was presumed to have personal knowledge of the 
abuses of the system he was attacking ; and as a member of 
the Committee on Indian Affairs he was specially charged 
with the legislative oversight of matters pertaining to the 

Benton believed and labored to show that the original 
purpose of the government trading houses had been lost sight 
of ; that the administration of the system had been marked by 
stupidity and fraud; that the East had been preferred to the 
West by the superintendent of Indian trade in making pur- 
chases and sales; in short that the factory system constituted 
a great abuse, the continued maintenance of which was desired 
only by those private interests which found a profit therein. 
In view of the circumstances of the situation his conclusion 
that the government trading houses should be abolished was 
probably wise ; but the reasons on which he based this conclu- 
sion were largely erroneous. His information was gained 
from such men as Ramsey Crooks, then and for long years a 
leader in the councils of the American Fur Company. This 
organization had a direct interest in the overthrow of the 
factory system. Its estimate of the value of the latter was 
about as disingenuous as would be the opinion today of the 
leader of a liquor dealers' organization of the merits of the 
Prohibition party. 

Benton's charges of fraud on the part of the superintend- 
ent and the factors failed to convince the majority of the Sena- 
tors who spoke in the debate, and the student of the subject 
today must conclude that the evidence does not sustain them. 
There was more truth in his charges with respect to unwise 
management of the enterprise; but for this Congress, rather 


M. M. Quaife 

than the superintendent, was primarily responsible. It is evi- 
dent, too, that in spite of his claim to speak from personal 
knowledge Benton might well have been better informed 
about the subject of the Indian trade. One of his principal 
charges concerned the unsuitability of the articles selected for 
it by the superintendent. But the list of items which he read 
to support this charge but partially supported his contention. 
Upon one item — eight gross of jews'-harps — the orator 
fairly exhausted his powers of sarcasm and invective. Yet a 
fuller knowledge of the subject under discussion would have 
spared him this effort. Ramsey Crooks could have informed 
him that jews'-harps were a well-known article of the Indian 
trade. Only a year before this tirade was delivered the Ameri- 
can Fur Company had supplied a single trader with four 
gross of these articles for his winter's trade on the Mississippi. 

Although Benton's charges so largely failed of substan- 
tiation, yet the Senate approved his motion for the abolition of 
the factory system. The reasons for this action are evident 
from the debate. Even his colleagues on the Committee on 
Indian Affairs did not accept Benton's charges of malad- 
ministration. They reported the bill for the abolition of the 
trading-house system in part because of their objections to 
the system itself. It had never been extended to more than a 
fraction of the Indians on the frontier; to extend it to all of 
them would necessitate a largely increased capital and would 
result in a multiplication of the obstacles already encountered 
on a small scale. The complicated nature of the Indian trade 
was such that only individual enterprise and industry was 
fitted to conduct it with success. Finally the old argument 
which had been wielded against the initiation of the system, 
that it was not a proper governmental function, was employed. 
The trade should be left to individuals, the government limit- 
ing itself to regulating properly their activities. 

Benton's method of abolishing the factory system ex- 
hibited as little evidence of statesmanship as did that employed 

An Experiment in State Socialism 


by Jackson in his more famous enterprise of destroying the 
second United States Bank. In 1818 Calhoun, as Secretary 
of War, had been directed by Congress to propose a plan for 
the abolition of the trading-house system. In his report he 
pointed out that two objects should be held in view in winding 
up its affairs : to sustain as little loss as possible ; and to with- 
draw from the trade gradually in order that the place vacated 
by the government might be filled by others with as little dis- 
turbance as practicable. Neither of these considerations was 
heeded by Benton. He succeeded in so changing the bill for 
the abolition of the system as to provide that the termination 
of its affairs should be consummated within a scant two 
months, and by another set of men than the factors and super- 
intendent. That considerable loss should be incurred in wind- 
ing up such a business was inevitable. Calhoun's suggestions 
would have minimized this as much as possible. Benton's plan 
caused the maximum of loss to the government and of con- 
fusion to the Indian trade. According to a report made by 
Congress in 1824 on the abolition of the factory system, a 
loss of over fifty per cent of the capital stock was sustained. 

The failure of the trading-house system constitutes but 
one chapter in the long and sorrowful story of the almost total 
failure of the government of the United States to realize in 
practice its good intentions toward the Indians. The factory 
system was entered upon from motives of prudence and 
humanity; that it was productive of beneficial results cannot 
be successfully disputed; that it failed to achieve the measure 
of benefit to the red race and the white for which its advocates 
had hoped must be attributed by the student, as it was by 
Calhoun, "not to a want of dependence on the part of the 
Indians on commercial supplies but to defects in the system 
itself or in its administration." The fatal error arose from the 
timidity of the government. Instead of monopolizing the 
field of the Indian trade, it entered upon it as the competitor 
of the private trader. Since its agents could not stoop to the 


M. M. Quaife 

practices to which the latter resorted, the failure of the experi- 
ment was a foregone conclusion. Yet it did not follow from 
this failure that with a monopoly of the field the government 
would not have rendered better service to the public than did 
the private traders. Lacking the courage of its convictions, it 
permitted the failure of perhaps the most promising experi- 
ment for the amelioration of the condition of the red man 
upon which it has ever embarked. 

William Browning 

Few of our early native explorers rank with Carver. The 
importance of a correct account of him, however, depends 
not so much on the value of his discoveries as on the pragmatic 
fact that his name has occupied a prominent place for the past 
one hundred and forty years. The wide interest that Carver's 
work elicited and the hold it has kept despite all the attacks of 
critics have naturally aroused inquiry concerning his personal 
history. Yet, as John Thomas Lee says, "we know very little 
of Carver's early life." 1 Lee has done more than anyone else 
to correct the criticisms aimed at Carver and has with thor- 
oughness gathered the material referring to him, but he 
recognizes, nevertheless, the mystery that shrouds the career 
of Carver. 

One sketch, that of Judge Daniel W. Bond, 2 gives some 
items, the best account perhaps that has appeared. But it is 
in a little-seen volume, lacks much of importance to the pic- 
ture, has inevitable slips, makes no reference to the author's 
sources of information, and has doubt thrown on it by the 

The accounts of Lee and Bond give practically everything 
so far known regarding the personal side of Carver's career. 
Yet even so primary a fact as the date of Carver's birth has 
not been hitherto known. To anyone acquainted with Con- 
necticut it must seem incomprehensibly strange that such a 
man could have been bred there, and yet no traces of his life 
or lineage be discoverable. 

1M A Bibliography of Carver's Travels," in State Historical Society of Wto- 
consin, Proceedings, 1909, 148. 

2 George Sheldon, History of Deerfield, Massachusrffs (Deerfield, 1895), II. 
101-104; Carver genealogy supplied by Judge Daniel W. Bond. 


William Browning 

There remained one possible source of information that 
none of Carver's many commentators had exploited, viz., the 
various local archives that might shed light. From long 
familiarity with Connecticut and by the aid of friends the 
present writer has been able to find material that it is hoped 
will go toward establishing a correct view of Carver's origin 
and early surroundings. 

Most later accounts point to Canterbury, Connecticut, as 
the place of the explorer's birth. It is therefore in order to 
turn to that town for possible facts. Though its early records 
are in part lost or scattered, facts relative to Carver have been 
found in the following still extant but unpublished records: 

a. Town records in the present town clerk's office in 
Canterbury. Volume I of Vital Records is gone. Volume 
II does not begin until about 1750. Registry of early deeds 
seems also incomplete. Other town records, however, are 
well kept and indexed and prove useful. 

b. Early probate records of Canterbury, now preserved 
at the Windham County courthouse in Willimantic. 

c. Later probate records of that district, kept at the 
Plainfield town clerk's office in Central Village, Connecticut. 
These were examined but they yielded little prior to 1750. 

d. Original record of the Canterbury Congregational 
Church, now in possession of the Connecticut Historical So- 
ciety at Hartford. 

In addition there is some scattering material published in 
recent years, or otherwise accessible, from which information 
may be gleaned to supplement the facts derived from the 
records which have been noted as of major importance. 

An outline of Carver's early career can best be presented 
by following genealogical lines, beginning with his father, 
David Carver ("Ensign David") of Canterbury, Connecti- 
cut. The "First Volume of Records of Town Acts, 1717—" 
discloses the following information: 

The Early History of Jonathan Carver 


Town meeting, Canterbury, Dec. 8, 1719. Amongst the 
officials chosen was "David Carver, leather sealer." 

Dec. 20, 1720. David Carver chosen first selectman, and 
again leather sealer. 

Dec. 29, 1720. "Town Meeting. * * * David Carver 
was chosen Moderator for the day." 

Dec. 19, 1721. David Carver was again chosen modera- 
tor; also again first selectman for the year. 

Town Meeting. "July the 4th 1722 Mr. Carver was 
chosen moderator for the day." 

Dec. 11, 1722, Town Meeting. "Ensign David Carver" 
was chosen one of two "jurymen." 3 

Jan. 24, 1722/3. "Ensign David Carver" was chosen one 
of "a Committee to agree with a schoolmaster or masters to 
keep the school as aforesaid." 

Town Meeting, Feb. 26, 1722/3 voted to David Carver 
a tract of land (the boundaries of which are detailed at 

Apr. 30, 1723. Voted to "Ensign David Carver" a half 
share of "undivided land or commons." 

Dec. 17, 1723. "Ensign David Carver, leather sealer," 
so chosen at town meeting. On the same day he was chosen 
one of a committee on a highway award. 

Dec. 8, 1724. "Ensign David Carver" again chosen 
leather sealer. 

Dec. 21, 1725. "General Town Meeting"; Mr. David 
Carver chosen moderator and again "leather sealer." 

Dec. 6, 1726. Town Meeting; "Ensign David Carver" 
was again chosen "leather sealer." 

His name then drops out of the records. But it is evident 
that in his few years in the young community Ensign David 
Carver was elected to a good share of the offices in the gift 
of the town. And as he was sufficiently domiciled by Deccin- 

8 This may mean the same as Bond's statement that he was n deputy to the 
General Court. 


William Browning 

ber, 1719 to take part in town meeting, it is clear that he must 
have arrived prior to this date. There is little to indicate his 
personal character, except that he was not a member of the 
local church ; but his career can be outlined very well. 

An entry in the original record of Canterbury Congrega- 
tional Church runs as follows: "Dec. 16, 1722, bapt. Benjamin 
son of Ens. David Carver." As this church list of baptisms 
begins in 1711, but gives no other child born to him, it is a 
natural inference that any other children he may have had 
were born elsewhere. 


The particulars which follow are gleaned from the old 
probate records at Willimantic (not to be confused with 
newer series) . Only so far as they bear on the present sub- 
ject are they here transcribed or summarized. While the 
style, chirography, and paper are old, the text can be made 
out satisfactorily. 

Volume I, 1713-34, pp. 220-22. The appraisers' list of 
Nov. 9, 1727 is given at length — lands, buildings, and a long 
list of articles of the estate. Signed, "Solomon Pain, ad- 
ministrator." In volume I, part 2, p. 157-58 the distribution 
of the estate is thus recorded : 

At a Court of Probate held in Plainfleld February 13th, 1727-8 for 
ye County of Windham. Present Timothy Pierce Esq. Judge. 
Mr. Solomon Pain adminstrator on ye estate of Ensign David Carver 
late of Canterbury deceased. Presented to ye Court an account of his 
administration on ye said estate which account and receipts was examined 
by which and ye inventory of ye sd deceased Estate It appears that ye 
whole estate inventoried with ye debts due to sd Estate amounts to ye 
sum of L 2118- 1%S and yt ye administrator hath paid out sundry debts 
and charges amounting to ye sum ofL81-15S4' w-th is by this Court 
allowed and that there is now remaining of ye sd deceased Estate ye sum 
or value of L 2036- 15S - 10' to be distributed and divided. 
Which this Court distributes as follows to wit to Mrs. Sarah Carver 
relick to sd deceased one 3d part of ye movable Estate of sd deceased 
which is the sum of L 122- 5S - 7' at Inventory price to be hers forever. 
And ye one 3d part of Real Estate during life wch is ye sum of L556- 
13S - 4' and unto Mr. Samuel Carver eldest son to sd deceased the sum 
or value of L 387- 19S-0' and into Jonathan Carver 2d son to sd 

The Early History of Jonathan Carver 


deceased the sum or value of L193- 19S- 6' and unto David Carver 3d 
son to sd deceased ye sum or value of Ll 93- 19S- 6' and unto Benjamin 
Carver 4th son to sd deceased ye sum or value of L193- 19S- 6' and unto 
Sarah Pain eldest daughter to said deceased ye sum or value of L193- 
19S- 6' and unto Hannah Carver second daughter to sd deceased the sum 
or value of L193- 19S- 6' — and This Court orders that ye above said 
daughters shall have their portion out of ye personal estate of sd de- 
ceased — so far as they can extend and this Court orders and appoints 
Capt. Joseph Adams Mr. Solomon Tracy and Mr. John Felch all of 
Canterbury to distribute and divide ye sd estate accordingly and to make 
return thereof to this Court and to be sworn before the next Justice and 
this Court appoints Mr. John Dyer of Canterbury guardian to ye above sd ' 
Jonathan Carver David Carver and Hannah Carver Jonathan Carver and 
David Carver desiring ye same for themselves and also this Court appoints 
Mr. Solomon Pain of sd Canterbury guardian to sd Benjamin Carver 
Bond being given by sd guardian as ye law directs. 

And also this Court orders that if any thing hereafter should appear 
to be due to or from sd Estate Each one to be at their ratable part in 
paying or recovering ye same. 

Test John Crory Clerk of Prob. 

Volume I, p. 301. "Canterbury, Apr. 24, 1728 pursuant 
to the trust committed to the subscribers by the Honored 
Court of Probate &c. For the division of the estate of Mr. 
David Carver of said Canterbury for the County of Windham 
deceased, viz. — Was ordered by said Court as followeth 
namely of the said personall estate to the widow relict of the 
deceased an 3 part being 122 L.-s.-p. We have set out 
according to the best of our understanding in particulars as 
followeth. Imprimis." 

Then follows a list, two and one-half pages long, of the 
distributed articles of the estate, stated to lie in part on the 
Quinebaug River. Next are specifications of three divisions 
of land. Widow's dowry of one-third stated. 

Volume I, p. 305. "Saml. Carver the eldest son of said 
David" is given a tract of land. 

"We have set out to Jonathan Carver 2 d son to the 
deceased a tract of land lying on the west side of the River 
bounded as followeth," &c. 

To David Carver (3d son) a tract is also set out. 


William Browning 

Volume I, p. 306. "Fifthly we have set out to Benjamin 
Carver fourth son to said David a tract of land," &c. 

"Sixthly we have set out to Sarah Paine — daughter to 
said David a tract," &c. 

"Seventhly we have set out to Hannah Carver youngest 
daughter to said David, a tract," &c. 

Signed, — Adams, — Feltch, & Sallomon Tracy, "distribu- 
tors under oath." July 26, 1729. 

Volume I, p. 301. "A Court of Probate held in Plain- 
field/June the 10th, 1729, Mr. John Dyer of Canterbury 
appeared in court and acknowledged himself bound to the 
Treasurer of the County of Windham in a recognizance of 
three hundred pounds money — that had said John Dyer as 
guardian to and for Jonathan Carver, David Carver and 
Hannah Carver minor sons and daughter to Mr. David 
Carver of said Canterbury deceased. Will be as his ratable 
part in paying all such debts that shall hereafter appear to 
be due from the deceased estate." His first bond in February, 
1728 was for L 500. 

Volume I, p. 301. "A Court of Probate held in Plainfield, 
July the 8th 1729— Mr. Saml. Carver, eldest son to Mr. 
David Carver of Canterbury deceased, appeared in said Court 
and acknowledged himself bound to the Treasury of said 
County of Windham in a recognizance of two hundred 
pounds money that he — Will be as his ratable part in paying 
all such debts that shall hereafter appear to be due from 
the deceased estate." 

"A Court of Probate held in Plainfield July the 8, 1729, 
Mr. Solomon Pain of Canterbury as Guardian for Benjamin 
Carver, minor son of Mr. David Carver of Canterbury de- 
ceased, appeared in the Court and acknowledged himself 
bound to the treasury of the said County of Windham in a 
recognizance of one hundred pounds money that he the said 
Pain as guardian to said minor will be as his ratable part in 
paying all such debts as shall hereafter appear to be due from 
the said deceased Estate." His earlier bond was for L 200. 

The Early History of Jonathan Carver 


The facts here first set forth are matters of legal record, 
established at the time and by those quite familiar with all the 
members of Ensign David Carver's family. They conse- 
quently furnish a sure basis from which to trace out the line of 
the Jonathan named therein, a key to the obscure parts of his 

These records show that Ensign David Carver must have 
died between December 6, 1726 (when he was last elected to 
office) and November 9, 1727 (when his estate was appraised) 
and thus sufficiently corroborate the date given by Bond, viz., 
September 14, 1727. His estate appears to be recorded at 
greater length than any other of that period, indicating that 
he was a man of personal and financial importance, necessitat- 
ing the appointment of administrator, appraisers, distributors, 
and guardians. The value of the estate, some $10,000, may 
not now seem very impressive, but for that time and place it 
represented a surprisingly large amount — more than David 
Carver could well have accumulated in his few years at Canter- 
bury. For his day and generation he was a man of wealth. 

Since Samuel Carver, the eldest son, was of age, it is 
certain that Jonathan, the second son, was approaching his 
majority though still a minor in 1729. As Ensign David 
does not appear in these records until 1719, and his fourth 
son was baptized in 1722, the fact that there were two children 
between the latter and Jonathan raises again a presumption 
that he was born before the family removed to Canterbury. 

The following items bearing on the marriage of Jonathan 
Carver are found in the town records of Canterbury: 

Mary the daughter of Jonathan and Abigail Carver was born Apr. the 
8th, 1747. 

Abigail the daughter of Jonathan and Abigail Carver was born May 
the 29th 1748. 

These names and dates agree perfectly with those given 
by Bond for the first two children of Jonathan Carver of 
Franklin County, Massachusetts. The items afford sufficient 
corroboration also of Judge Bond's further statement that 


William Browning 

his Jonathan Carver, the explorer, married Abigail Robbins 
October 20, 1746 in Canterbury. A list of Carver's children, 
correct in part and possibly in toto, is given by Bond. 

The following evidence should convince even those who 
"prefer darkness to light" that the Jonathan Carver who 
lived at Canterbury, Connecticut, and Jonathan Carver the 
explorer, of Franklin County, Massachusetts, were one and 
the same individual: 

a. The general recognition and acceptance by the Massa- 
chusetts local historians of the fact that their Jonathan Carver 
came from Canterbury, Connecticut. This conclusion is 
accepted by Lee and apparently by all other recent writers 
who have given special attention to the subject. 

b. The existence of a very real Jonathan Carver at 
Canterbury, as the wise men of history have presumed, and 
the further fact that he dropped out of the Canterbury 
records just before the appearance of a Jonathan Carver in 
Franklin County, Massachusetts. 4 

c. The identity of Jonathan's two children born in Can- 
terbury, Mary and Abigail, with the first two children of the 
Massachusetts Jonathan. 

d. The general agreement alike of hostile and friendly 
critics that the explorer came from Connecticut, in conjunc- 
tion with the un-Homeric fact that no other place in Connecti- 
cut has competed for him. 

e. The fact that in 1770 at Montague, Massachusetts, a 
summer school was kept at Mrs. Abigail Carver's amongst 
others, 5 the name thus agreeing with that of Jonathan's wife 
in Canterbury earlier. 

f. The direct testimony of the Rev. Samuel Peters that 
he knew the explorer to be from Canterbury, although as a 
"colossal liar" and "spiteful historian" little credence is placed 
in his unsupported word. 

* Montague, Deerfield, and Northfield were all in Franklin County. ' 

6 Edward P. Pressey, History of Montague (Montague, Mass., 1910), 217. 

The Early History of Jonathan Carver 


Rarely can a personal item of two centuries ago be estab- 
lished more conclusively. 



The fact that Canterbury was not settled until shortly 
before 1700 shows that David removed here from some other 
place. Since Bond states that he married Hannah Dyer of 
Weymouth, Massachusetts, we naturally turn to that town's 
records for light on this point. 

In the Vital Records of Weymouth 6 these entries are 

Jonathan, s. of David & Hannah Carver, b. Apr. 13, 1710. 
David, s. of David & Hannah Carver, b. Sept. 14, 1713. 
Hannah, d. of David & Hannah Carver, b. Oct. 25, 1717- 

Since these names are identical with those of three of 
Ensign David Carver's children, are in the same chronological 
order, and since the dates of birth accord with the known 
facts concerning Ensign David's family, born at just the 
right period to conform, and furthermore since the parents' 
names agree with those given by Bond, it appears mathe- 
matically certain that they are identical. 7 

It is consequently certain that we have here the long 
sought date of birth of Jonathan Carver, the explorer, April 
13, 1710. Various writers, critics as well as supporters, have 
inclined to place the explorer's birth before 1732, the date 
commonly assigned. Their guesses have ranged all the way 
back to "about 1712"— that of Bond. It follows from the 
same evidence that Carver was born at Weymouth, Massa- 

6 Vital Records of Weymouth, Massachusetts to 1850 (Boston, 1910), 70, 
'The name Sarah, as the widow of David, given once in the set t lenient of the 
estate, does not negative this conclusion. While it might be due to my one of 
several reasons, the real explanation evidently is connected with the following 
fact: Of the twenty-one entries of births or' baptisms in the family, afl found 
recorded, in but one (that of Benjamin, last child of Ensign David) Is there 
failure to include the mother's name! It is therefore apparent thai something had 
happened to her before the entry was made. 


William Browning 

chusetts. Since he passed most of his younger years in 
Connecticut it was natural for him to say he came from there. 8 

Other facts tending to confirm these conclusions are noted 
in the Weymouth town records and early deeds (the latter 
preserved in the registry of Suffolk County). At the town 
meeting of March 4, 1700 and subsequently David Carver 
was chosen tithingman; later constable; and then selectman. 
In 1712 he handed back to the town its stock of ammunition. 
In 1713, as a "householder," he received his share of a cedar 
swamp. In 1716 he took title to 15 acres at his mill pond. And 
on January 28, 1718 he sold his mill pond with 40 acres includ- 
ing "housing and building and grist mill thereon." From this 
date he seems to drop out of the Weymouth records. It can 
consequently be concluded that he left there soon after; this 
tallies with his advent in Connecticut. 

This would account for his having property, as indicated 
above, before moving to Canterbury. Maturity of years, 
experience in town government, and the possession of means, 
account also for his prompt participation in public affairs on 
settling in the frontier town. 

Thus far in this paper every connecting link has been 
established by authentic contemporary records and the con- 
clusions reached can fairly claim to be decisive. We may now 
consider some points of secondary importance, the evidence 
for which seems sound but possibly not in every respect as 


The names of three Carvers appear in the early annals of 
Massachusetts, only one of whom (Robert, 1594-1680) left a 

8 As Carver was seventeen years old at the death of his father, Lettsom's state- 
ment that he was fifteen is not far amiss. But his assignment of 1732 as the date 
of Carver's birth seems at first a strange error. Carver however made no state- 
ment of record as to his age. If he allowed a wrong impression to go out, the 
reasons are now a matter of probability rather than proof. It is easy to see one 
that is entirely sufficient to account for this. He was intently striving to organize 
and lead an expedition that should realize his dreams by going through to the 
Pacific. But his age, if stated correctly (he was in his sixtieth year on reaching 
England, and died at seventy), would militate seriously against gaining support. 
To meet this a large cut in his age was imperative. 

The Early History of Jonathan Carver 


male line. It is stated and with apparent correctness that all 
the subsequent Massachusetts Carvers of that period were 
descended from this Robert. Hence it can be concluded that 
Jonathan, the explorer, and his father, David, were of that 
stock, whether the line of descent can be made out in detail or 

A plausible line of descent for our first David can be 
traced in the local histories of Marshfleld, Massachusetts, an 
offshoot of Plymouth Colony. 9 John Carver, 1575-1621, the 
first governor of Plymouth Colony, left no Carver line. His 
brother Robert, however, (v. supra) settled at Marshfleld as 
early as 1638 and had a son John (1637-79). This John 
Carver had a son David, born about 1668 (anyway nearer 
1670 than 1663). He, Richards suggests, removed to n Con- 
necticut, and became the ancestor of Jonathan Carver," the 

Chronologically this David corresponds well with the first 
in Canterbury; and, as a collateral descendant of Governor 
Carver, it would explain in a way Dr. Lettsom's statement 
that the explorer was a descendant of an early governor. 
Jonathan Carver may have supposed that he was directly 
descended from the governor. 10 There is nothing to gainsay 
this line from Robert, and the only uncertainty is the lack of 
direct proof that its David was identical with the Weymouth- 
Canterbury David. 

Since there were in all several David Carvers it may be 
well to differentiate those of possible interest : 

9 See Carver genealogy given by L. S. Richards, History of Marsh field 
(Plymouth, Mass., 1901-5), II, 160 ff. Also, more briefly, in Marcia A. Thomas, 
Memorials of Marshfleld (Boston, 1854), 52-53. 

10 An old instance of this identical mistake is on record in connection with 
another branch of the family: "William Carver [oldest son of John, and Rand KM 
of the above Robert] died' at Marshfleld 1760, ae. 102, and is noticed by Gkw 
Hutchinson and Dr. Belknap in the biography of Gov. Carver as the pranCHOfl of 
the Governor" (from Mitchell's History of Bridyctcatcr. Massachusetts. 1840, p. 
863). In view of such an illustration and of the undeveloped Btate of genealoglC 
lore in Carver's time, the statement in the text affords the most reasonable explana- 
tion of his ancestral claim. 


William Browning 

a. Ensign David Carver ; his career has been sufficiently 

b. His third son, David, born Weymouth, 1713, elected 
"an inhabitant" by the town of Canterbury in 1736, married 

Susanna in 1739, had seven children and appears 

to have remained there, as a daughter was baptised in 1758 11 ; 
two sons took a deed in 1770, 12 and a son, Nathan, was married 
at Lisbon in 1770. 

c. David, son of No. 2, born Canterbury, May 2, 1747. 13 

d. David, baptised December 21, 1730, 14 son of Jona- 
than's brother Samuel. 

e. An uncertain David. 15 


More directly to establish the conditions under which the 
explorer passed his youth a word may be said of his dominant 
seniors. As he went with the family to Connecticut when 
about eight years old, he had the stimulus of a change of 
environment at an impressionable age. Any special forma- 
tive influences were more likely to have been active after than 
before this removal. In view of Ensign David Carver's posi- 
tion in life it is evident that the boy, Jonathan, enjoyed what- 
ever advantages, educational and otherwise, the resources of 
the community afforded. 

Col. John Dyer, 1692-1779, guardian of young Jonathan, 
was also his maternal uncle. Mrs. David Carver (nee Han- 
nah Dyer, born Weymouth, February 13, 1684) "was a 

11 Original record of Canterbury Congregational Church. 

12 Later probate records of Canterbury, in Plainfield town clerk's office. 

13 Original record of Canterbury Congregational Church. 

15 The History of Hingham, Massachusetts (1893, III, 288) says a David 
Carver of Weymouth married Ruth Whitmarsh, December 14, 1696 (or December 
16, 1696, according to a Whitmarsh pedigree). And the Weymouth Vital Records 
give a "Ruth, d. of David & Ruth Carver, b. Dec. 1, 1701," also a "Samuel, s. of 
David & Ruth Carver, b. Nov. 4, 1704." Whether this was an earlier marriage of 
Ensign David Carver is not material to the present story, — though there are 
reasons for thinking it was, in which case this daughter, born Ruth, was later called 

The Early History of Jonathan Carver 


sister of Col. John Dyer of Canterbury, and Col. Thomas of 
Windham, both prominent in the affairs of Connecticut." 
They were grandsons of Thomas Dyer, settler in Massa- 
chusetts, and "moved to Windham County, Connecticut." 
The Dyers went to Connecticut before Carver and 
doubtless induced him to remove thither. Col. Thomas Dyer 
(1694-1766) was the father of Hon. Eliphalet Dyer, LL.D., 
a member of the Continental Congress and later chief justice 
of the state of Connecticut, own cousin of the explorer. 16 

Solomon Pain, 1698-1754, born in Eastham, Massachu- 
setts, lived at Canterbury and was later minister of the 
Separatist Church there. He married Sarah Carver, eldest 
daughter of Ensign David, on March 2, 1720. She died 
August 9, 1731. 17 This Solomon, known also as Elder Pain, 
was the administrator of Ensign David's estate and guardian 
of his youngest son, Benjamin. Pain became widely known 
as a leader and organizer of the Separatist Church movement 
in Connecticut, perhaps the greatest religious schism that has 
ever stirred the old state. In discussing this movement the 
late A. A. Browning of Norwich says: 18 "Then came the 
notable contest at Canterbury concerning the Saybrook plat- 
form, in which Col. Dyer played a conspicuous part upon 
the one side and the brothers Solomon and Elisha Paine on 
the other." 

These facts are mentioned to show that Carver was 
closely related to and in his younger years associated with men 
of more than local reputation. Canterbury has had some 
prominence for a small community, and these men were 
among her representative citizens. 

To sum up : Carver came of able stock on both sides. His 
family had means. He enjoyed the best advantages the 

16 "History of Ancient Windham," by Wm. L. Weaver, in the Willimnntio 
Journal, 1864-65. 

17 H. D. Paine (ed.), Paine Family Records (New York, 1880-83), T. 161. 
The name is spelled either with or without a final e. 

v Records and Papers of the New London County Historical Society. TT. 1M 
See also S. L. Blake, The Separates or Strict ConortgattoitatttU of PT«W B upland. 


William Browning 

time and place afforded. His nearest older relatives were men 
of influence and standing, large factors in the life and activi- 
ties of a wide region. 19 Both phases of the biologic formula, 
heredity and environment, are duly typified. 


It was a reason quite aside from the preceding presenta- 
tion that turned the writer's attention to Carver. In connec- 
tion with a paper on "Medical Explorers" 20 some question 
arose whether Carver had studied medicine. It was with the 
hope of settling this point that the foregoing material was 
gathered. Though the net result seemed worth publishing for 
its value otherwise, it has but a limited bearing on the moot 
question, Some facts and considerations however favor an 
affirmative answer. 

Carver had plenty of time to study medicine, as now 
appears, between the death of his father and his own marriage. 
As his army and camp life was without doubt a large factor 
in qualifying him for exploring work, the casual possession 
of medical knowledge even at that period would have given 
him an added sense of preparedness. But the main evidence 
is the direct statement of Lettsom, 21 based, presumably, on 
remarks of Carver. It hence comes back in part to the degree 
of credence placed in this statement plus any corroboration 
which may be adduced. 

The name of the place where Carver is said to have studied, 
"Elizabeth Town, in the same province," sounds very sug- 

19 To some writers it seems puzzling that Carver ever made or supplied a 
shoe. In point of fact any such incident only serves, if at all, further to identify 
him. His uncle, Col. Thomas Dyer, "was a shoemaker by trade," yet became a 
leading citizen (v. The Dyar Family, 1903, p. 7; also supra, note 16). Natural 
enough for the nephew to pick up the trade, and perhaps turn a hand at it on 
occasion. If he actually practiced it he must have been a captain of industry for 
1754 to furnish twenty pairs at one call! It comes back to the difficulty of 
appreciating the conditions of early days. Even in the last century we find men of 
distinction who had toiled at the last. Moreover, the shoemaker before the 
machine-age ranked higher as an artisan and in the general estimation than he does 
at the present time. 

20 New York Medical Record, Oct. 28, 1918. 

21 Oder's Travels (London, 1781), 2. 

The Early History of Jonathan Carver 305 

gestively like Lisbon, the next town to Canterbury, where at 
that time lived Dr. Joseph Perkins (1704-94). Though the 
town was not incorporated until 1786, the name was in use 
long previously. Perkins graduated at Yale in 1728, started 
in practice soon after, and was thought "very eminent, both in 
medicine and surgery." One of his pupils was his own son, 
Dr. Elisha Perkins, famous in two continents as the origina- 
tor of "metallic tractors" and "perkinism." He lived farther 
down on the same little river as Carver, the Quinebaug, and 
on the usual road to Norwich, then the nearest business center. 
It is certain that Carver must have known Perkins, at least 
in a general way. 

Both from the statement that Carver gave up medicine 
for other activities and from the lack of any evidence that he 
practiced, it seems unlikely that he finished his medical studies. 
That he did some surveying, as indicated by Lee, would not 
be strange, as such work was done in early days by many 
medical men. 

On the face of the evidence and in default of anything to 
the contrary the only fair conclusion is that he pursued medi- 
cal studies for a time. 22 

22 The writer wishes in closing to acknowledge indebtedness to the dozen and 
more probate and town clerk offices consulted in connection with this study. It 
has been a lesson in Americanism to experience such uniform courtesy. 


John C. Reeve 1 

My residence in Wisconsin began with a temporary stay 
in Fond du Lac, on Lake Winnebago, while I looked about 
for a location. That portion of the state then presented two 
widely different conditions. Portions known as "oak open- 
ings" had scattered trees and parts approaching to, or really, 
prairies ; the other, and the larger portion of the country, was 
heavily timbered. The former parts were already well-settled 
farms, opened and cultivated. The forest-covered portion 
was naturally behind in development; it required the heavy 
labor of clearing. My choice finally settled on a village in 
the wooded part of the country, a small village in Dodge 
County. In this village was a sawmill and a flour mill run by 
water power. Near by was a furnace for the reduction of a 
surface-deposit of iron-ore which existed a few miles away. 
There was a schoolhouse in the village, two small stores with 
stock of general merchandise, a postofiice, kept in the kitchen 
part of a log house (through this there was a mail once a 
week), but no church building or church organization. In 
the village were two or three very good families connected 
with the mills and the furnace, but the population was a mix- 
ture, some Germans, a good many from northern Ohio. The 
country around for miles was covered with woods. The 
Potawatomi Indians had been assigned to a reservation but 
had not yet been moved, and I often saw bands of them 
riding single file in silence through the forest. 

The field of my choice was already occupied. Two men 
practicing medicine were in the village. One was a regular, 
a graduate. To him, of course, I was an unwelcome and an 

1 Reprinted by permission from The Medical Pickwick for October, 1919. 
This is the second installment of Dr. Reeve's life story published serially in that 

(From a photograph in the Wisconsin Historical Library) 

A Physician in Pioneer Wisconsin 


uncongenial neighbor. The other was an elderly man, an 
herb doctor, pursuing also other callings ; he was an exhorter 
and carpenter as well as practitioner. Sometimes all his 
varied callings came into service, as may be well imagined in 
a new country. On one occasion a settler in clearing his land 
threw a tree across his cabin, fatally injuring his wife. The 
doctor attended her until she passed away, then made her 
coffin, and finished by preaching her funeral sermon. The 
old man was very firm in his botanic orthodoxy and proud of - 
it. Once he assured me in manner and tone that enforced 
conviction that he never administered any mineral medicine 
except the iron in the "cast steel" soap used in making pills! 

Here, then, provided with an Indian pony and saddlebags, 
I began practice and faced the trials, the privations, and the 
hardships of pioneer life. There was no delay in their making 
their appearance. Straw for a bed was an immediate and 
pressing necessity. No straw was to be obtained except from 
a farm out in the open country. No conveyance was to be 
had. So, in company with a neighbor who was in like neces- 
sity, I set out for the straw. We slung it beneath a pole, one 
end of which rested on a shoulder of each, and thus carried 
the required amount a distance of three miles. 

The inconvenience, the difficulty, and the fatigue of 
getting about in this undeveloped country cannot be exag- 
gerated; sometimes they entailed positive hardship. Roads 
there were none, although in two directions there were what 
were called such, the trees having been cut away and some of 
the stumps removed. They were but mud-ways, and for the 
most part I rode through wagon-tracks from one clearing to 
another. Of course, as time passed improvements were being 
constantly made and conditions were changing for the better. 
But in the early part of my career the difficulties of getting 
about were indescribably bad. Once I had to follow a blase- 
mark in order to reach a settler's cabin. Twice I WES lost in 
the daytime, however — and I suffered only a few hours' 


John C. Reeve 

delay. On one occasion, however, and that not at a very early 
period, I was not so fortunate. I was called just after night 
to go some miles to render service to a man said to have been 
injured in a fight. Part of my way was by a wheel-track 
through thick woods. I had traveled this path many times and 
did not dream of any trouble, but my pony, in the darkness, 
following the habits of her kind, browsed right and left from 
the bushes, and soon I found that I was out of the track — 
lost! In vain I tried to regain the path; in vain I essayed to 
keep a direct course in any one direction. I could not see the 
stars and so could get no help from the heavens ! When tired 
in my efforts to find my way, I groped to a sapling, tied my 
horse to it, took off the saddle, and passed a drizzly September 
night as best I could. When morning came I got out readily 
and reached home hatless! 

Scarcity of money was a constant and most trying incon- 
venience; settlers in a new country have pressing demands 
for every dollar. They have to pay for their land, buy seed, 
procure agricultural implements and articles for house- 
keeping. So it was with the greatest difficulty that money 
enough could be procured for the purchase of things indis- 
pensable, such as medicines. Of food there was a supply, but 
very limited as to variety ; canned goods were not then in the 
market; marsh-hay for my horse was procurable, and so was 
lumber with which to build shelter for her; sometimes an 
order on one of the stores was received, but of money there 
was next to none. My cash receipts during my first year's 
practice amounted to sixty-eight dollars and some cents. 

Some of my professional experience during my residence 
here is worthy of record. I passed through two epidemics of 
smallpox, the first very severe. The disease was brought 
from a neighboring county by settlers who came to the flour 
mill. How often have I wished for the photograph of a cer- 
tain young woman who died of this disease, for the benefit 
of anti-vaccinationists — her face a solid mass of crusts, 

A Physician in Pioneer Wisconsin 


cracked by seams through which pus welled up, swollen so 
that the eyes could not be seen, and the nose scarcely visible — 
she was a horrible and revolting sight. One man of the 
village volunteered to go with me and bury her. We went 
to the house, put her in the coffin, and made together a funeral 
procession to the prepared grave. 

One case early in the first epidemic deserves a more 
minute record for its unique character, for its short duration — 
a little over thirty hours — in which death took place, for the - 
detrimental influence it had on my reputation, and for other 
reasons. A young man employed in the mill, of good habits, 
and in the prime of life, was taken suddenly with most atro- 
cious pains in the back and most violent vomiting. I was 
quite at a loss as to the nature of the case and confessed my 
ignorance. An express was sent for a consultant, who lived 
about twenty miles away — a young man, graduate of a New 
England college. He arrived about two hours after death 
had taken place. The body was in the position just as the 
man had died, lying on one side. By this time a deep dis- 
coloration had appeared on all the dependent parts of the 
body. Across the face no more clearly marked line could have 
been drawn by a ruler, separating the upper from the depen- 
dent portion, which was of dark purple hue. The case was 
pronounced, by the consultant, to be one of erysipelas. In 
vain I protested that there was no discoloration before death, 
that the deep purple hue did not correspond with the bright 
red coloring of erysipelas. The verdict was against me and 
I suffered the consequence. "What a pity that our young 
doctor did not know a case of erysipelas!" I knew nothing 
then of death from smallpox before the appearance of the 
eruption, but I had had an attack of erysipelas myself and 
knew that disease. Besides, I had been drilled in Williams' 
Principles of Medicine. In that book there was a chapter on 
the different modes in which death takes place. One mode 
was designated as death by "necraemia" — death by disorgani- 


John C. Reeve 

zation and dissolution of the blood. This case was, then, I 
was sure, a death by necraemia, although I did not dream, at 
the time, that this decomposition of the blood could be pro- 
duced by the poison of variola, nor have I found anything 
since about it in the books. However, I have known of two 
cases of sudden death in an epidemic, which took place before 
the time for appearance of the eruption had arrived, but I 
have never seen another such a case, nor another so well- 
marked a case of death by necraemia. 

A most singular fact, and one to me without explanation 
or attempted explanation, is the great diff erence between the 
virulence of smallpox in the early period of my practice and 
that of later years. I have not known of it for a long time 
other than as a mild disease, dreaded mostly for its contagious- 
ness. This modification adds to the difficulty of control of 
epidemics, from the greater difficulty of an early diagnosis; 
it so nearly resembles varicella or chicken pox. 

I may and very probably will expose myself to ridicule 
by going back in history three hundred years to enter a con- 
troversy as to the cause of death of a member of the royal 
family of France. To attempt to draw a parallel between a 
death in a village in the wilderness of Wisconsin and one in 
the palace of Versailles is bold, perhaps an overbold attempt. 
But I make the attempt and accept the consequence. My 
warrant for doing so is that the death in France is one of 
great historic interest; its cause has been the subject of con- 
troversy between historians and still remains unexplained. 
Its suddenness and the violence of the symptoms preceding 
it gave rise to the belief of poisoning, casting grave suspicions 
upon persons of the highest standing. 2 

The death was that of Henrietta of England, daughter 
of Charles I, sister-in-law of Louis XIV. There is no im- 
probability in the death being one from variola, the disease 

'See Littre, "Henriette d'Angleterre, est elle morte empoissonnee?" in 
Medicine et Medecins, Paris, 1872. 

A Physician in Pioneer Wisconsin 


prevailing everywhere in those times and sometimes with 
great virulence. Too often had pale death ( pallida mors) in 
the hideous guise of smallpox entered the portals of the 
palace, as history records. Then the facts sustain the argu- 
ment. They furnish strong support: the sudden attack, the 
excruciating pains, the violent vomiting, the early death, only 
nine hours after the attack began — all these support my posi- 
tion. Littre makes a labored argument in favor of simple 
ulcer of the stomach, with perforation and resultant peritoni- 
tis. I challenge a comparison of views. Bossuet's funeral 
oration over the remains of the royal personage is one of the 
masterpieces of French literature. 

Toward the end of the second year of my practice I 
encountered a case which put me on my mettle, which called 
forth all my resolution, and the successful issue of which 
exerted a powerful influence in shaping my future course and 
in developing my powers. Called to a farm where the first 
grain crop was being garnered, I found a stalwart Irishman 
with an arm mangled to the elbow in the threshing machine. 
Here was a situation and a dilemma. It was then nightfall, 
the man nearest who had a reputation for surgery lived thirty 
miles away. That was a journey requiring all the next day; 
then a stay over night, and another day's journey back. Then, 
too, the surgeon might not be at home, for he was in demand 
over a wide range of territory. Meantime, what would be- 
come of the patient? There was but one course to pursue to 
save his life — immediate amputation. For this I was not at 
all prepared. An improvised tourniquet is a simple matter: 
for instruments I had only those of a pocket case. But the 
operation must be performed and it was. I still have the 
finger bistoury which I used, while a carpenter's sash saw 
rendered service. For assistant I had a man who had been 
sent for in another direction. He had never seen chloroform 
administered, so when the patient began to snore under its 
influence he became frightened, and I had to stop the operation 


John C. Reeve 

several times to direct him. The operation was successfully 
completed, and the man survived. I am sure that if any pro- 
fessional brother who reads this will reflect a moment he will 
not envy me that night's repose on the puncheon floor of the 
little cabin, my saddle-bags for a pillow. I had never per- 
formed an operation on the cadaver nor assisted at one on the 
living subject. I had never tied an artery in an open wound; 
and I lay there, dreading every moment a call to arrest 

I could relate many more dramatic incidents of my early 
professional life, but what have been given must suffice. The 
conditions prevailing at that period throughout a large section 
of our country cannot but be of interest. These can best be 
shown by giving the itinerary of a journey made in January, 
1852. Called to Cleveland by the critical illness of a sister, I 
left home on a Sunday morning in a sleigh, a private con- 
veyance, and reached Milwaukee, about fifty miles away, 
that night. From there, on runners, to Chicago. Thence, 
some thirty miles by Michigan Central Railroad, and then by 
vehicle across to the Southern Michigan at that time building 
from Toledo to Chicago. The appointments of the road were 
not yet made, so several times the train stopped, the passen- 
gers alighted and chopped fence rails to make fuel for the 
locomotive. From Toledo, on wheels, to a point on the rail- 
road from Sandusky to Cincinnati, where a vehicle was taken 
to the railroad from Columbus to Cleveland ; I think the place 
was Galion. I reached my destination just at dark on Satur- 
day night ; I had traveled during the whole week, passing but 
two nights in bed. 

I made another journey to Cleveland in summer time, 
took a private examination, and received my degree. My 
diploma bears that date, 1853. By this I have no class affilia- 

With pen and ink it is impossible to convey an idea of the 
dreariness, the isolation, and the dullness of life in my chosen 

A Physician in Pioneer Wisconsin 


village. Absolutely deprived of professional companionship, 
and with little of any other kind, traveling over wretched 
roads through the intense cold of winter and the storms of 
summer, bearing as best might be the innumerable privations 
of domestic life, the dreary time dragged slowly away, week 
by week, month by month, varying only with the changing 
seasons. The one enlivening ray of life was the ardently 
looked-for, the eagerly-welcomed, weekly mail day. The 
only connection I had with the professional world was a 
medical journal from Boston. I subscribed for that — the 
only one I then knew of — as soon as I was able, and in doing 
so went directly contrary to the advice of my old preceptor. 
He opposed the reading of medical journals by young practi- 
tioners — it made them unsound in doctrine and variable in 
practice! For reading, I had a small collection of medical 
books procured on credit through the kindness of friends, and 
there were the weekly newspaper and letters by mail, and I 
received also the early numbers of Harper s Monthly, just 
then making its appearance. I also read Uncle Tom's Cabin, 
little dreaming the force the book would exert in promoting 
a movement which should shake the structure of our govern- 
ment to its very foundation. 

The pleasure I experienced in having, in 1853, an oppor- 
tunity to sell my practice needs no emphasis. I left for the 
East in pursuit of further professional improvement — of 
post-graduate instruction. Vain pursuit! I was chasing a 
mirage, always attracting, constantly receding, ever elusive, 
never attained! 

I J 

Louise Phelps Kellogg 



Wisconsin is noted throughout the Union as the home of a 
large number of Americans of foreign origin. According to 
the census of 1910 those of either foreign birth or parentage 
outnumber the native-born more than three to one. During 
the territorial period, however, Wisconsin was largely peopled 
by the native-born. The census of 1850 showed 197,000 of 
the latter to 107,000 born abroad. Moreover a large propor- 
tion of the latter class arrived during the first two years of 
statehood. It is, however, safe to estimate that during the 
territorial period of Wisconsin's history at least 60,000 found 
their way to her borders from the Old World. These were 
almost entirely from the countries of northern Europe. Leav- 
ing out of consideration the immigrants from Canada, most 
of whom were but a few years removed from European resi- 
dence, the Europeans who came to Wisconsin between 1836 
and 1848 were almost evenly divided between English- 
speaking and foreign-language groups. The British Isles 
contributed about one-half of the foreign-born territorial 
population ; among these fully one-half were Irish, a few were 
Welsh and Scotch, and a large number Cornish. 

The settlements of the English and the Irish are difficult 
to trace, because as a rule they came as individuals or families 
rather than as colonies. We have noted in a previous chapter 
some English cooperative enterprises that brought groups 
of settlers to the territory. Many English families settled 
during the territorial period in the southeastern counties, 
particularly in Racine, Kenosha, and Walworth. They 

The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848 315 

came largely from the small proprietor class, bought land, 
lived frugally, prospered, and soon blended indistinguishably 
with the "Yankees" from New England and New York. 26 

The Irish were more clannish, and some distinct areas of 
settlement may be traced. They belonged as a rule to the 
Catholic Church ; thus the earlier organizations of that body 
often afford evidence of Irish dwellers. The first Irish 
residents of Wisconsin were those who came to the lead mines 
either as miners or purveyors for the frontier settlements. 
Thus many of the Irish families of the state are found in 
Green and Iowa counties. As a rule, however, the people of 
this nationality sought the lakeboard counties. Green Bay 
had a considerable Irish population that came in early days, 
while Rockland, Morrison, and Glenmore townships of 
Brown County were almost wholly settled by Irish farmers. 
Milwaukee was also a favorite residence for these immi- 
grants ; by 1847 there were 2,500 sons of Erin in the city, most 
of whom lived in the Third, usually known as the Irish ward. 
From Milwaukee a number of small Irish settlements 
stretched northward along the lake coast to Washington, 
Ozaukee, and Sheboygan counties. In the first was a town- 
ship called Erin settled in 1841. A small settlement in Cedar- 
burg Township was known as New Dublin; while Random 
Lake, Russell, and Mitchell townships of Sheboygan County 
were chiefly populated by Irish immigrants. Dane, J effer- 
son, Dodge, and Columbia counties likewise secured many 
Irish settlers. In Dodge there was by 1845 an Irish Catholic 
church at Fox Lake. Emmet Township was named by the 
compatriots of the Irish martyr, Robert Emmet, while in 
Clyman and Lowell townships Irish farmers predominated 
until after 1845. Watertown, likewise, was much liked by 
the Irish, but here as well as in Dodge, Washington, Ozaukee, 
and Sheboygan counties the Irish maintained a precarious 

39 For a typical English family settlement in Wisconsin Territory Bee M M 
Quaife, An English Settler in Pioneer Wisconsin, Wisconsin Historical Collection.-'. 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

hold when once the great German immigration set in. In 
Dane County the Irish have for the most part kept their 
farms. Burke, Westport, Cross Plains, and Fitchburg town- 
ships were largely settled by this nationality, while Medina 
Township is the home of a group of Irish Protestants. Many 
of these Dane County settlers were wealthy and prominent, 
highly educated, members of the learned professions. Madi- 
son has had a considerable Irish element of this kind since 
early territorial days. In Walworth County, Lyons Town- 
ship was first settled by the Irish, and numbers of that race 
were found in Mukwonago Township of Waukesha County 
and in the city of Racine. The Irish immigrants quickly 
showed their capacity for political action. Both constitutional 
conventions had members who were born in Ireland. They 
also represented constituencies in every territorial legislature. 
In 1850 there were 21,043 natives of Ireland living in Wis- 
consin, of whom three-fourths or more came during territorial 

The Welsh element in Wisconsin's early population was 
much smaller than the Irish. These people usually settled in 
colonies and while not clannish or separatistic in feeling they 
were very tenacious of Old World customs and even of the 
language of their forefathers. Three well-defined groups 
are to be noted outside of Milwaukee, where a considerable 
number of the early Welsh immigrants gathered. One, 
perhaps the largest of the three groups, was in Columbia 
County, the northeast township of which was almost wholly 
settled by the Welsh, who called their village center Cambria. 
This colony has spread into the neighboring townships of 
Dodge County, has a settlement at Elba, and a church at the 
city of Fox Lake. In Cambria was celebrated for many years 
the annual eisteddfod or musical festival of the Welsh race. 
This settlement was begun in 1845, and most of its members 
came from northern Wales. By 1843 a considerable group 
of Welsh immigrants had taken up land in Genesee Town- 

The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848 


ship, Waukesha County, and in that year a Welsh Calvinistic 
Methodist church was built. This settlement has since much 
enlarged, overflowing into the southern part of Delafield 
Township. The railway station which serves this group on 
the Chicago and Northwestern road is called Wales. Most 
of the Welsh of the lead-mining counties came from South 
Wales and were miners in the Old World. They are scattered 
over the three counties of Grant, Lafayette, and Iowa, being 
especially strong in the latter near Mineral Point and Dodge- 
ville. In the same county the river townships Arena and 
Wyoming contain many Welsh. In 1850 there were 4,300 
Welsh among us. 

The sturdy Scotch stock has also contributed its share 
to our commonwealth's growth. The largest and most 
influential Scotch colony is in Milwaukee, where George 
Smith, Alexander Mitchell, David Ferguson, and John 
Johnston did so much from territorial days onward to build 
up sound financial institutions. 27 Scotch immigrants settled in 
Kenosha and Racine counties; in the latter three townships, 
Caledonia, Dover, and York, were largely farmed by them. 
Green Lake County had a small Scotch colony, while the 
name of Caledonia Township of Columbia County indicates 
the nativity of its first settlers. In 1850 there were 3,527 
Scotch-born in Wisconsin, many of whom came during the 
territorial days. 28 

Very large and very important in its contribution to the 
upbuilding of the commonwealth was the Cornish immigra- 
tion, which began as early as 1827 but was of small proportions 
until after the Black Hawk War in 1832. The cause of this 
migration was almost wholly economic, small wages in the 
Cornwall mines making it difficult for the heads of households 
to provide for their large families. The rumors of the richness 
of the Wisconsin mines and of large wages for operatives had 

27 "Alexander Mitchell, the Financier," Wit. Hist. Coif*.. XT. L85-60. 
28 James A. Bryden, "The Scots in Wisconsin," Wis. TIM. Soc Pr oO M cK wj rt, 
1901, 153-58. 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

a strong influence in Camborne, where tin mines were being 
worked out and wages ranged from $13 to $15 per month. 
There was also the hope of becoming proprietors in America, 
which was quite beyond the possibility of any workman in 
Cornwall no matter how industrious and frugal he might be. 
The earliest Cornish immigrants settled near Shullsburg, 
Mineral Point, and Dodgeville. After 1836 the stream of 
these mining newcomers grew in volume, increasing with each 
year until 1849, when it was diverted to California. In all 
about 7,000 Cornishmen settled in Wisconsin and added much 
to the growth and development of the southwest. Physically 
sturdy, with large families, industrious, frugal, and religious, 
their cramped circumstances in Cornwall had made them 
illiterate and clannish, but in the New World they expanded 
quickly. They patronized schools and churches; many of 
their number filled the minor offices of local government ; while 
their children have become leaders in education and progres- 
sive politics. Several of their number represented the south- 
western counties in the legislature, and when the test of 
patriotism presented itself, they cheerfully enlisted in the 
Union army. Of all the English-speaking foreigners that 
came to Wisconsin during territorial days, none have been 
more helpful in upbuilding the commonwealth than the 
Cornish. 29 

The foreign-speaking Europeans that settled in Wiscon- 
sin during the territorial era were from Germany, Holland, 
Switzerland, and Norway. The first of these furnished the 
largest share of the foreign-born population and in certain 
portions of the territory constituted foreign communities 
which have had much influence on Wisconsin's destinies. 

Germans were induced to leave their homes in Europe for 
religious, economic, and political reasons. Some of the 
earliest German groups in Wisconsin were religious com- 

29 Louis A. Copeland, "The Cornish in Southwest Wisconsin," Wis. Hist. 
Colts., XV, 301-34. 


The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848 319 

munities which migrated to escape state persecution in the 
Old World. 30 These religious groups came from north Ger- 
many to America under the care of their pastors. A bad har- 
vest year throughout Germany in 1846, with the threat of 
famine, sent many southern and Rhenish Germans to 
America. The well-known political emigration did not occur 
until 1848, after Wisconsin had become a state. Nevertheless, 
the presence of a large body of compatriots in Wisconsin was 
one of the inducements that brought the intellectuals of 
Forty-eight into our midst. 

Wisconsin was selected as a place of residence by the 
emigrating Germans largely because its climate, products, 
and natural features corresponded to their home environment. 
Some of the earliest Wisconsin settlers were active in promot- 
ing immigration thither, sending back letters and printed 
pamphlets urging Wisconsin's claims. A few Germans 
settled in Milwaukee during the first territorial years, but it 
was not until 1839 that the first large colony arrived. They 
brought gold to purchase lands ; and their arrival was a boon 
to the community, which was still struggling with the 
financial depression that had begun in 1837. This first 
German colony bought a large tract of land in Washington 
County, established a church, and cleared the soil for farms. 
Others of the same faith, the Old Lutheran, soon followed 
and settled in Washington, Ozaukee, and Dodge counties. 
The Germans liked the hardwood tracts and took up the lands 
avoided by Americans as difficult to clear. For this reason 
they filled in the counties along the lake shore and back 
towards the center of the state. By 1845, 250,000 acres had 
been sold to immigrant Germans. The south and Rhineland 
Germans began coming to Wisconsin about the year 1840, 
settling west of Milwaukee in Milwaukee and Waukesha 
counties and gradually filling in the vacant lands in Dane 

80 Wm. F. Whyte, "The Settlement of the Town of Lebanon, Dodge County," 
Wis. Hist. Soc. Proceedings, 1915, 99-110. 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

and Jefferson counties. By 1847 Manitowoc, Sheboygan, 
Calumet, Outagamie, Green Lake, and Marquette counties 
had received large accessions of German population. In 
Ozaukee seven-eighths and in Washington two-thirds of the 
inhabitants are of German stock. During the early years it 
is estimated that in the open navigation months from two to 
three hundred Germans a week landed at Milwaukee, and by 
1844 this number had risen to 1,000 or 1,400 per week. 

Nearly all the early German immigrants to Wisconsin 
were farmers, and their contribution to the state's agricultural 
growth has been immense. The lands they bought they 
improved by constant industry, women and children working 
side by side with the men to develop the farms. They farmed 
more scientifically than the average American, rotating crops 
and conserving the land. They also appreciated the forests 
and kept woodlands for the benefit of themselves and the 
community. Few Germans sold any land they once possessed, 
and the poor renters saved assiduously in order to purchase a 
small piece for themselves. In manufactures the Germans 
turned their attention chiefly to brewing and tanning. Many 
of the large fortunes of Milwaukee have been made in these 
industries that had their beginnings in territorial days. The 
German contribution to the intellectual and social life of 
Wisconsin has been characteristic. In music and some forms 
of art they excel. They appreciate education but are tena- 
cious of their old country ideals ; the church communities main- 
tain separate schools and encourage the use of the German 
language. 31 In politics the early Germans were imbued with 
democratic ideals; consequently they were almost all mem- 
bers of the Democratic party. Not until the slavery issue 
grew acute did the Germans enter politics as a factor; then 
they were largely on the side of the Liberty, Free-soil, and 
Republican parties. 32 Three members in the first constitu- 

31 Louise P. Kellogg, "The Bennett Law in Wisconsin," Wisconsin Magazine 
of History, Sept. 1918, 3-25. 

32 Ernest Bruncken, "The Political Activity of Wisconsin Germans, 1854-60," 
Wis. Hist. Soc. Proceedings, 1901, 190-211. 

The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848 


tional convention and one in the second were Germans. The 
German press during the territorial period consisted of the 
Wisconsin Banner published at Milwaukee in 1844 by Moritz 
Schoeffler; and the Volksfreund, an opposition paper begun 
in 1847. In 1850 the census reported 36,064 Germans in 

The Dutch element in Wisconsin was small during 
territorial days, numbering but 1,157 in 1850. The largest 
colony of settlers from Holland was in the southeast township 
of Sheboygan County where in 1845 several Dutch families 
settled. Upon their recommendation others emigrated in 
1846; and in 1847 a considerable company came under the 
leadership of the Reverend Peter Zonne. The principal 
village was called Amsterdam. Father T. J. Van den Broek 
came in 1834 as a missionary to Wisconsin; some time later 
he settled at Little Chute on Fox River; in 1847 he made a 
visit to his old home in Holland, where he induced a large 
number of his friends and neighbors to emigrate. The first 
arrivals came in the summer of 1848 and bought land in what 
is now Holland Township of Brown County. 33 The Dutch 
are mostly agriculturists and have aided in the development 
of the dairy interests in Wisconsin. Some add to their 
support by fishing in Lake Michigan and by shipping their 
cattle to the large cities. 

Both French- and German-Swiss were among the immi- 
grants to Wisconsin in preterritorial and territorial days. 
French- Swiss came to the lead region before the establishment 
of the territory, either directly from the old country or from 
the Selkirk settlement on the Red River of the North. 
Among these were the Gentil, Gratiot, and Chetlain families. 
The Rodolfs, one of whose number had been president of the 
Swiss republic, settled in 1834 in Lafayette County. Several 
Swiss families settled during territorial days in southeaster!) 

88 C. A. Verwyst, "Reminiscences of a Pioneer Missionary," Wis. Hist, s.v. 
Proceedings, 1916, 148-65. 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

Fond du Lac County and at Madison. One of the earliest 
settlers of Buffalo County in 1842 was a Swiss, who was later 
followed by others of his nationality. A number of German- 
Swiss families came as part of Count Haraszthy's colony to 
Sauk County; their descendants are now living in Troy, 
Honey Creek, and Prairie du Sac townships. The largest 
Swiss colony in the state is at New Glarus and in its vicinity in 
Green County. This group was sent out in 1845 by the 
canton of Glarus because of its overpopulation; the passage 
of those who emigrated was paid ; their land was bought by the 
cantonal authorities. Although all organic relation with the 
home country long ago ceased, the colony for many years 
remained essentially Swiss, speaking the German- Swiss dia- 
lect and maintaining the customs of the motherland. 34 The 
success of the settlers of New Glarus resulted in the emigra- 
tion of more of their countrymen to Wisconsin, so that the 
neighboring townships of Washington, York, Monroe, Mount 
Pleasant, and Sylvester in Green County, and Primrose and 
Montrose in Dane County are largely owned and farmed by 
Swiss people. Dairying and cheese making are their principal 
industries. 35 Sheep, for their wool, are also pastured on the 
hills of Green County. In 1850 there were 1,244 Swiss resi- 
dents in Wisconsin; they and their descendants have con- 
tributed to its wealth by their industry and thrift; they have 
also aided the commonwealth in the maintenance of demo- 
cratic ideals. 

The migration of the men of Norway to America reads 
like an epic from their early sagas. The earliest colony, 
founded in New York State in 1825, was composed of those 
who fled for conscience' sake to the New World. The first 
Wisconsin Norwegians were the Nattestad brothers who ex- 
plored Rock Prairie in 1838. However, before the colony 

34 Several articles on the Swiss of New Glarus are in Wis. Hist. Colls., VIII, 
411-45; XII, 335-82; XV, 292-337. 

36 John Luchsinger, "History of a Great Industry," Wis. Hist. Soc. Proceed- 
ings, 1898, 226-30. 

The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848 


brought out by Ansten Nattestad in 1839 had arrived, another 
group of Norwegians landed at Milwaukee, intending to 
pass on to northern Illinois. At Milwaukee, however, the 
colonists were persuaded to change their destination. They 
bought lands on Muskego Lake in Waukesha County, and 
although they removed the next year to Norway Prairie in 
Racine County, the group has ever since been known as the 
Muskego Colony. New accessions added to their number and 
importance; in this locality was published in 1847 the first 
Norwegian newspaper in the United States. When the Civil 
War began the Norwegian regiment that took its place among 
Wisconsin's ranks was commanded by Colonel Hans Heg, 
son of the chief settler of Muskego Colony. In the meanwhile 
the pioneers who had followed Ansten Nattestad to Rock 
County settled in Clinton and Turtle townships. A few of 
their number went farther west and chose land in Newark, 
Avon, Spring Valley, and Plymouth townships, while others 
crossed the state line into northern Illinois. The descendants 
of this group now own about one-third of the land in Rock 
County and are a prosperous and progressive people. These 
two latter groups constitute the Jefferson and Rock Prairie 

The largest, strongest, and most prosperous groups of 
Norwegian settlers in Wisconsin are found in Dane County; 
their migration to this region, beginning in 1840, continued 
with accelerating numbers throughout the territorial period. 
The first settlers bought land in southeastern Dane County 
on Koshkonong Creek, and the entire area is thus known as 
the Koshkonong settlement. It extends eastward into the 
adjacent townships of Jefferson County and embraces most 
of Albion, Christiana, Deerfield, Dunkirk, Pleasant Springs, 
and Cottage Grove townships. Its earliest church, the first 
Norwegian church in America, was built in 1844 in Christiana 
Township. The city of Stoughton is almost entirely peopled 
by Norwegians. The second Dane County area includes the 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

northern townships of Vienna, Windsor, and Bristol, with the 
northern part of Burke and the eastern edge of Westport. 
The first settlers in this region came in 1844; after 1846 the 
settlement developed rapidly. The commercial center is 
called Norway Grove ; De Forest and Morrisonville are almost 
wholly Scandinavian villages. In 1844 the western Dane 
County Norwegians began coming largely from the older 
colonies to Blue Mounds Township. This group occupies 
Springdale, Blue Mounds, Primrose, Perry, and Vernon 
townships and finds its commercial center at Mount Horeb. 

Lafayette County has a considerable Norwegian popula- 
tion near Wiota. A small group of miners settled there in 
1840; the agricultural immigration began about 1842; and 
two years later a Norwegian Lutheran church was built, which 
is now one of the oldest in Wisconsin. In Jefferson County 
Scandinavians are found in two localities. In Sumner Town- 
ship on the western border a Norwegian family was the second 
to open a farm; during the territorial period the Koshkonong 
settlement expanded over this and the neighboring Oakland 
Township. A few Swedes likewise settled in this locality. In 
the southeastern part of Jefferson County the so-called 
Skoponong settlement expanded from Walworth County 
through the southern part of Palmyra Township. This little 
settlement, formed in 1844, was the childhood home of 
Senator Knute Nelson of Minnesota. Other groups in Wal- 
worth County were on Heart Prairie in Whitewater, La 
Grange, and Richmond townships, and upon Sugar Creek, 
near Elkhorn and Delavan. All these settlements were begun 
during the middle forties. 

The Waukesha County settlement (aside from the early 
Muskego group) of Norwegians began in 1841 on Pine 
Lake when Gustaf Unonius settled there and when in 1843 
fifty families came from Norway and bought homes in Dela- 
fleld, Merton, Summit, and Oconomowoc townships. This 
settlement was connected with Nashotah Seminary, several 

The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848 


of its young men becoming Episcopal clergymen. The entire 
group was more rapidly Americanized than those of the other 

Columbia County received a considerable accession of 
Norwegian immigrants during the middle forties, an over- 
flow for the most part of the colony in northern Dane County. 
In 1844 one family settled in Lodi Township, which within 
three years received several additional families. Spring 
Prairie in Hampton Township was settled in 1845; Bonnet 
Prairie of Otsego Township was almost entirely purchased 
by Norwegians, who came mostly from the Koshkonong 
settlement. Leeds and Columbus townships have likewise 
some Norwegian families. The large Scandinavian settle- 
ments in Waupaca, Waushara, Portage, and Winnebago 
counties were but just begun during the territorial period. 
In 1850 there were 8,651 Norwegian residents in Wisconsin. 

As appears from this record the Norwegians were almost 
entirely an agricultural people upon their advent to Wiscon- 
sin; their largest contribution has been in opening land for 
cultivation. Mining, lumbering, and manufacturing were 
for them casual occupations during the territorial period. In 
more recent years their contribution to other industries, especi- 
ally to manufactures, has been more marked. Their part in 
the intellectual life of the commonwealth has been consider- 
able, although they cling tenaciously to the language and 
literature of their forefathers, in which many have a high 
degree of culture. In politics the Norwegians have generally 
been Republican ; they have had their share of state and local 
offices, one of their nationality serving in the second con- 
stitutional convention. 36 

The other foreign -language immigrants to Wisconsin — 
Armenians, Belgians, Bohemians, Danes, Finns, Hungarians, 
Icelanders, Italians, Poles, Russians, and Swedes — have come 

86 Rasmus B. Anderson, "First Norwegian Settlements in America," Wis, 
Hist. Soc. Proceedings 1898, 150-67; Albert O. Barton, "Beginnings of the Not 
wegian Press in America," Ibid., 1916, 186-212. 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

in under the state government. Wisconsin as much as any 
other commonwealth of the Union has served as a melting pot 
for the new American. It is perhaps significant that the first 
professional chair of Americanization has been established at 
our state university. Still more significant are the honor rolls 
of Wisconsin men in the European War. Foreign names 
are there in abundance, frequently in preponderance, but 
their owners were inspired by a common ideal, serving a com- 
mon cause, loving one flag and one country. Americans all, 
they have offered their blood and their sacrifice for the coun- 
try of their birth or of their adoption. Henceforth immi- 
grants to Wisconsin may be "foreigners," but citizens of Wis- 
consin are all Americans. 

(To be continued) 

W. A. Titus 



On thy fair bosom, silver lake, 

The wild swan spreads his snowy sail. — Percival. 

It would be of interest to the student to know the name of 
the first white man to reach the Fond du Lac region, but the 
question must remain unanswered. It is not unlikely that the 
early French explorers visited the farthest end of the lake of 
the Winnebago to satisfy themselves as to the shape and 
extent of so considerable a body of water. Perhaps away back 
in 1634, when Jean Nicolet came to Wisconsin as an ambassa- 
dor to the Winnebago Indians, he voyaged to the southern end 
of the lake in his search for a navigable inlet, but if so, he left 
no record of his observations. It is probable that early traders 
frequently visited the Indian villages in the Fond du Lac 
region, although it is not until 1787 that we find recorded the 
names of these daring adventurers who were willing to push 
on a few leagues in advance of civilization. 

The Indian name for the Fond du Lac region was "Win- 
ne-o-me-yah." When the traders first came the Winnebago 
tribe had two villages in the vicinity : one on the east branch of 
the river near the place where the malt house now stands, and 
one on the west branch just below the Forest Avenue bridge. 
The first trading post was located on the east bank of the 
Fond du Lac River at the forks. Laurent Ducharme was the 
first trader whose name has been preserved, the period of his 
occupation being somewhere between 1785 and 1787. En 
1788 a Spanish trader named Ace 1 occupied the post at the 
forks of the river; with him were his wife and children and Ins 

1 Recollections of Augustin Grignon in Wis, Hist GoW»., Hi. %6i 85, 


W. A. Titus 

clerk. This is the first record we have of a white woman at the 
Fond du Lac post. The Indians of the Winnebago village, 
Sar-ro-chau, located where Taycheedah now stands, were 
always friendly to the whites. The Winnebago of the Rock 
River villages, however, were generally hostile. One day a 
band of these under their chief, Pakan, came into the vicinity 
and enticed Ace and the clerk some distance away from the 
cabin, whereupon both were immediately slain by the savages. 
The band then attempted to capture the trading post, but 
Mrs. Ace, being well armed, defended her children and her 
property until the friendly Indians from Taycheedah came to 
her assistance and escorted her back to the Green Bay settle- 
ment. Pakan escaped punishment for this crime; Augustin 
Grignon states that he frequently saw the old chief around the 
Fond du Lac post in 1801. 

The next trader we hear of at this post was a Canadian 
named Chavodreuil, 2 who had with him two clerks. A Menom- 
inee Indian named Thunder, who had his wigwam near the 
post, became jealous of Chavodreuil, possibly with sufficient 
reason ; consequently this trader soon met the fate of his prede- 
cessor. Punishment was rarely meted out to Indian mur- 
derers at this early day, as the whites did not feel strong 
enough to apply either retaliatory or corrective measures. It 
is probable that after the murder of Chavodreuil the post was 
abandoned for a time. 

In 1795 the post was reoccupied by agents sent out by 
Jacob Franks, a Jewish trader of Green Bay. Franks never 
lived here himself, but placed Jacques Porlier in charge. He 
was succeeded in 1797 by John Lawe, who spent considerable 
time in Fond du Lac as a trader. Lawe later became promi- 
nent in the social and official affairs of Green Bay. During 
the second war with England he entered the service of the 
British army, but at the close of hostilities he became a citizen 
of the United States and was eventually commissioned a 

2 Ibid. 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin 


judge in Brown County. Louis Beaupre was associated with 
Lawe at the Fond du Lac post. 

About 1800 the old post at the forks of the river, which 
had been the scene of savage attacks and bloodshed, was 
abandoned and never again occupied. Augustin Grignon 
and Michael Brisbois, who were located at Fond du Lac for 
two winters, one of which was 1801, established a new post on 
the west branch of the river just below the first rapids at the 
big bend and not far from where the Soo Railway bridge now 
spans the stream. It will be understood that Fond du Lac 
was not considered a settlement at this time nor for many 
years thereafter because the post was occupied only during 
the winter. 

In 1815 Joseph Rolette, who had already established trad- 
ing posts at the portage and at Prairie du Chien, opened a 
post at Fond du Lac, but, more enterprising than his prede- 
cessors, he did not depend entirely upon his post as a mart for 
the fur trade. He states that he was in the habit of loading 
his light draft canoe with merchandise, paddling up the east 
branch of the Fond du Lac River, and then making a portage 
of two miles in the present township of Oakfield to reach the 
Rock River. As he floated down the Rock River he was 
enabled to do a thriving business with the Indians at the 
numerous villages situated on that stream. 

From 1815 to 1819 we know nothing of the history of the 
Fond du Lac region, but in the latter year Louis Grignon in 
a letter to John Lawe wrote that there were many savages in 
the Fond du Lac lodges of the Puants (Winnebago). In 
1820 John Lawe was again in Fond du Lac, for he states that 
few furs were brought in during the winter. In 1821 Charles 
Grignon in a letter to his brother Pierre complains of his lack 
of success in getting furs; and in 1825 Amable Grignon in 
a letter to John Lawe states that although he has done his 
best he has not been able to secure a single peltry, lie also 
mentions in the same letter that the savages burned his t reding 


W. A. Titus 

post, which indicates that the Winnebago were again becom- 
ing unruly. This tribe became more and more hostile until 
the summer of 1827, when a number of settlers were massacred 
along the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers. Military forces 
were then sent against the savages, and the uprising was 
quelled, but for several years thereafter the Winnebago were 
restless and ore or less dangerous. In 1829 Jaes D. Doty 
passed through the Fond du Lac region on his trip from Green 
Bay to the Four Lakes and found the Indians numerous in 
the vicinity. On account of their known hostility, Doty made 
a detour to avoid the Fond du Lac lodges. In 1833 the 
savages ceded their title to this region and that fall and the 
following spring removed to their new home west of the 

In 1835 a corporation known as the Fond du Lac Com- 
pany was formed at Green Bay and received from the govern- 
ment a grant of 3,700 acres of land at the head of Lake 
Winnebago, which today comprises a part of the site of 
Fond du Lac City. The first house was built by the company 
in the spring of 1836 on lot 9 of block 9 of the original plat. 
Its general appearance is familiar to almost every person 
in Fond du Lac because of the numerous reprints and copies 
of the painting by the late Mark R. Harrison which portrays 
this historic building. The first actual settlers were Colwert 
Pier and his wife, who arrived from Green Bay in June, 1836. 
A few months later Edward Pier with his wife and two 
children arrived to augment the little colony. 

In 1837 Fond du Lac was visited by Captain Frederick 
Marryat, the celebrated English author, who made a trip on 
horseback from Green Bay to Prairie du Chien. In his Diary 
in America, published soon after his return to England, he 
presents a glowing description of the scenery from the ledge 
east of Fond du Lac. 

Gustav de Neveu, a native of France, came to Fond du 
Lac in 1838 and built his log house on the high shore above 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin 


the beautiful lake that still bears his name. His father, 
Francis Joseph de Neveu, was a soldier in the expeditionary 
force sent out from France under the command of D'Estaing 
to aid the American colonies in their struggle for indepen- 
dence and was seriously wounded a little later in an engage- 
ment with the British fleet. 3 It is worthy of note that Lieu- 
tenant Gustav de Neveu Wright, a grandson of Gustav de 
Neveu and one of the most popular young men of Fond du 
Lac, was killed on a French battle field in the autumn of 1918, 
thus paying the debt to France for services rendered to 
America by his brave ancestor of the eighteenth century. 

Governor J. D. Doty and Governor N. P. Tallmadge 
both located on farms just east of Fond du Lac in 1844; the 
former was just completing his term as territorial governor 
of Wisconsin, and the latter was succeeding him as the chief 
magistrate of the territory. Governor Doty had for many 
years prior to this time been prominent in the territorial and 
preterritorial affairs of Wisconsin. He resided in Fond du 
Lac only two years (1844-1846) and then removed to Doty 
Island at Neenah-Menasha. At the time of his death in 1865 
he was governor of Utah Territory. N. P. Tallmadge dur- 
ing his second term as United States Senator from New 
York resigned to become governor of Wisconsin Territory 
where he had previously made extensive investments in lands. 
He was one of the prominent New York statesmen of his 
day, and when William Henry Harrison was nominated for 
the presidency Senator Tallmadge was offered the vice presi- 
dential nomination but declined it. President Harrison's 
death soon after his inauguration showed how closely Senator 
Tallmadge missed a place among the presidents of the United 
States. He died in 1864 and sleeps on the topmost knoll of 
beautiful Rienzi Cemetery which he generously set aside from 
his farm as a resting place for the dead. 

8 From data supplied by the De Neveu family. 



In the last issue of the Wisconsin Magazine of History 
I presented an article on the Kensington Rune Stone. After 
that article was in type certain important discoveries were 
made confirming some of the arguments presented and adding 
new light to our understanding of the circumstances under 
which the events recorded in the inscription transpired. The 
present contribution is for the purpose of recording these dis- 
coveries and bringing the discussion down to date. 

As I shall refer to the text of the inscription a number of 
times in the following article, a translation of it is given below 
for the convenience of the reader. 

Eight Goths and twenty-two Norsemen on (an) exploration-journey 
from Vinland through the western regions. We had camp by two skerries 
one day's journey north from this stone. We were (out) and fished one 
day. When we came home (we) found ten men red with blood and dead. 
Ave Maria! Save (us) from evil! 

(We) have ten of our party by the sea to look after (or for) our 
vessels 14 day journey from this island. Year 1362. 

In my former article I proved that the term "day's jour- 
ney" in the Middle Ages represented a unit or measure of 
distance of approximately eighty miles. Therefore, when the 
rune master in the last sentence says that they were fourteen 
days' journey from the sea, he means that they were 14X80 
miles from the sea, or 1,120 miles, which agrees excellently 
with the actual distance from Kensington to Hudson Bay, the 
nearest "sea." 1 

1 Wisconsin Magazine of History, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 176-78. Since writing 
the former article I find that William Hovgaard, professor of Naval Design and 
Construction in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in discussing the 
navigation of the Norsemen has also conclusively shown that a day's sail or day's 
journey, commonly written dcegr, was used as a unit of distance as described 
above. See his Voyages of the Norsemen to America (New York, 1914), 61-64. 

Further Discoveries 


If "day's journey" means about eighty miles in one part 
of the inscription it must have the same meaning when used 
elsewhere in the same inscription. Therefore, when the rune 
master says that the two skerries (marking the camp where 
the massacre of the ten men occurred) lie one "day's journey" 
north of the rune stone, these skerries should be sought for 
about eighty miles north of Kensington. 

On learning the meaning of "day's journey" a few months 
ago I became very curious as to the whereabouts of these 
skerries. If they could be found approximately eighty miles 
north of Kensington, the find would go far toward proving 
the truth of the inscription in that it would prove that the new 
and hitherto unguessed interpretation of "14 day journey" 
was correct. A discovery of these skerries would also lead to 
the discovery of the camp site where the massacre occurred, 
where other remains might be found. In October, 1919, 
therefore, I made a trip to Otter Tail and Becker counties, 
Minnesota, and searched all the numerous lakes there for sker- 
ries. I am very pleased to say that I found them. 

The lakes of Becker County lie in the northern end of the 
beautiful Lake Park Region of Minnesota, studded with 
hundreds of sparkling lakes. I examined all the lakes of 
Becker and northern Otter Tail counties to see if there were 
any skerries. A "skerry" (Scandinavian, skjcer) is a very 
small island of rock or gravel, void of vegetation and lying 
low upon the water. This kind of formation is very rare in 
the Lake Park Region, there being no place rock within the 
entire area. In none of these lakes, except one, were there 
any skerries to be seen. However, in Cormorant Lake, one 
of the largest of them all and lying farthest to the northwest . 
were two unmistakable skerries. No one who has stood upon 
the high hill on the northwestern shore of the lake and has 
seen these two remarkable skerries lying in a straight line 
before him can doubt that these are the right skerries. Nor 
could the rune master have found a better topographical mark 
of identification to describe the location of his camp. 


//. R. Holand 

While the skerries can be discerned from different points 
on the shore of the lake, there is only one place from which 
they can be seen prominently. This is the large hill south of 
John Johnson's farmhouse on the northwestern shore of the 
lake. This hill was in olden times covered with an open grove 
of very large trees and was used as a village site by the In- 
dians. They told the first settlers that "this hill had always 
been their home." Many Indian remains have been found 
here. This hill was no doubt the camp site of the twenty 
explorers who in 1362 visited this region. It is almost a hun- 
dred feet high and rises steeply from the margin of the lake. 
The shore is covered with thousands of granite boulders. 

As we were about to leave the stony shore and climb 
directly up this steep hill we noticed near the shore a particu- 
larly large, flat boulder almost overgrown with bushes and 
brambles. In the middle of this stone was a small hole which 
plainly had been bored by human agency. The hole was an 
inch in diameter and three-quarters of an inch deep. As we 
stood pondering upon the significance of this hole another of 
the party called our attention to another large stone close by 
which also had a hole in the center. This second hole was seven 
inches deep and was roughly triangular in shape. A triangu- 
lar stick of wood, with the angles rounded off, seven inches 
long, each side measuring one and a quarter inches, would 
just fit the hole. Both of these boulders were about six feet 
in length and somewhat less in width. Their surfaces were 
flat and the insides of the holes were so weathered by the 
action of the elements that they appeared to have been chis- 
eled hundreds of years ago. 

What is the meaning of these strange holes ? They could 
not have been intended for purposes of blasting, for the stones 
lie in one of the most inaccessible spots on the shore and 
thousands of similar boulders lie far more conveniently for 
anyone seeking such. Moreover the weathered appearance of 
the holes shows that they were made long before the first 

Further Discoveries 


white settlers came here. The holes are plainly prehistoric 
in origin. These holes, bearing plain testimony of the presence 
of man, would be worthy objects of speculation when found 
in any desert place, but appearing as they do on the very spot 
where these explorers of 1362 must have embarked and dis- 
embarked upon the fatal fishing trip they are doubly signifi- 
cant. As a memorial of their presence these boulders are 
second in importance only to the rune stone itself for they 
speak in mute language of the presence of these pre-Colum- 
bian travelers. 

Being a mute testimony it is not easy to read the message 
right, but I would like to make a surmise. Serious deductive 
reasoning should be able to find the correct explanation of 
this faint message of bygone times. My solution is as follows: 

These explorers came to Cormorant Lake and there need 
of food prompted them to go fishing. They had no boat but 
for twenty experienced men the problem of making a raft or 
punt would be simple. This must have been quite large as we 
read that ten men went out fishing. They presumably desired 
to use the raft more than once. The inscription reads "we 
were (out) and fished one day" — which indicates that they 
made a prolonged stay at this camp. Owing to its size they 
could not easily pull the raft up on the stony shore. Some 
other means was therefore needed for anchoring it. If they 
carried no flexible ropes they could not anchor the raft in 
the ordinary fashion; moreover, the roundish boulders of that 
region are unsuited for anchors. However, necessity is the 
mother of invention. One of the men is set to work to bore 
a hole in an immovable stone on the edge of the beach. He 
makes unsatisfactory progress because some stones are harder 
than others. He therefore leaves this stone after having made 
a hole three-quarters of an inch deep and chooses another large 
boulder near by. In this he chisels a hole seven inches deep 
and, upon second thought, makes the sides triangular. A 
flexible withy of some sort, a vine or birch root is then chosen 


H. R. Holand 

and securely wedged into the triangular hole. The other end 
is then tied to the raft which is thus as securely moored to the 
shore as any rope could do it. 

The use of withies for cordage was very common among 
the Scandinavians of the Middle Ages. Such withies also 
entered largely into the construction of their vessels. Accord- 
ing to Professor Hovgaard the heavier timbers of all their 
ocean-going vessels, such as the keel, the frames, and the 
bottom planks, were always fastened together with withies. 2 
This gave a greater flexibility to the vessel than was possible 
with iron bolts. So deft were they in the manipulation of 
withies that sometimes large ocean-going vessels were secure- 
ly joined together without any iron bolts, nails, or rivets in 
their construction, withies and wooden plugs taking the place 
of these. 3 Even at the present time the Norsemen make large 
use of withies for binding purposes. I have before me a sheep 
collar which a farmer of Norway fashioned for me out of two 
birch twigs a few years ago in five minutes' time. The ends 
are shaped into a very serviceable snap and ring; the collar, 
which is very flexible, is so strong that I was assured that a 
horse could not pull it in two with a straight pull. This sheep 
collar shows that birch twigs one-quarter inch in diameter 
when twisted can be bent to an arc of a radius equal to their 
diameter without breaking. 

These observations are sufficient, I believe, to show that it 
would be a simple and natural thing for these explorers to 
make a stout rope out of withies with which to tie their raft. 
Nor would the problem of wedging these into the anchor stone 
present any difficulty. The withies used in the construction 
of their vessels were wedged in so securely that they withstood 
the heaviest bufFetings of the sea. The same principle is used 
nowadays by builders in elevating large stones. A small hole 

2 Op. tit., 52-53. 

3 See account in Flatey Annals; also Annals Begii and Odda Annals under 
date of 1189, telling of Asmund Kastanraste's vessel built in Greenland which 
contained only one iron bolt. 

Further Discoveries 


is chiseled in the middle of the stone; a wedge called a "lewis" 
is inserted; and the stone is safely lifted to the desired height. 

These anchor stones are at present lying about five or six 
feet above the level of the lake; this indicates that the lake 
level in 1362 may have been four or five feet higher than it is 
at present. It could not have been much higher as this lake 
at high water has an outlet both at the north and at the south. 
Cormorant Lake happens to be the highest of all the lakes in 
that region, being the uppermost source of Pelican River. 
But even if the lake were only five feet higher than at present, 
both of the skerries would be under water. Does this then 
mean that in 1362, when the water presumably was five feet 
higher than it now is, these skerries did not exist as 
skerries but only as reefs? Not necessarily. The great mass 
of boulders which are strewn around the shore indicates that 
these skerries formerly were much bigger and higher than 
now. The nature of these skerries is such that their height 
above the water is determined by the moving ice which shoves 
back and forth like a huge planer each spring. They consist 
of boulders of all sizes which are cemented together with sand 
and gravel. Let us assume that the skerries formerly were 
five feet higher than now and that the water fell five feet. 
Little by little as the water fell the rains would wash out and 
erode the sand and gravel which bind the boulders together 
until finally the moving icefloes would get a grasp upon them 
and carry them away. In this manner, therefore, the tops of 
the skerries would diminish as the lake level lowered. 

Cormorant Lake is the first lake of any size that these 
explorers would come to from the northwest, the probable 
direction of their approach. After a very long and wearisome 
march over the vast Red River Valley prairie, where game 
would be scarce and hard to approach, the wooded hills and 
beautiful expanse of Cormorant Lake would look very 
pleasant to them and invite them to a long stay. This is also 
one of the largest of these lakes, with many coves and head- 


H. R. Holand 

lands. This explains why the ten men who were out fishing 
heard or saw nothing of the tragedy that had overtaken their 
comrades until they returned and "found ten men, red with 
blood and dead." Even in the brief words upon the stone we 
can recognize the horrified surprise which met them and which 
causes the rune master to exclaim, "Ave Maria! Save (us) 
from evil!" 

There can be no doubt that the survivors gave themselves 
time to bury their dead in a decent fashion. The next step 
in this investigation is therefore to find this burial spot. As 
we stood upon the hill of the camp site, Mr. Johnson pointed 
out a small knoll about sixty rods back from the lake and 
said: "Someone is surely buried over there." 


"Because there are several sunken graves on that knoll." 

We went over to the knoll and found that there really were 
a number of "sunken graves" on the knoll. They were not 
hollows caused by uprooted trees, except in one instance, but 
looked just like neglected graves. Whether these are of red 
or white men's origin I do not know. The knoll has never 
been plowed as it lies just inside the bounds of a piece of 
stony woodland. I made no excavations and requested Mr. 
Johnson not to disturb the mound until it can be excavated in a 
scientific manner. This will probably be done next spring. 





On the second day of June in A. D. one thousand eight hundred and 
seA^enteen, I, Willard Keyes, (being impelled by a curiosity, or desire 
of seeing other places than those in the vicinity of my Native town,) 
started from Newfane in Vermont intending to travel into the 
western parts of the United States. — 

Pass through Wardsboro — Stratton — across Green Mountain nine 
miles entire forrest — Arlington — South road to Shaftsbury — 30 

June 3 d — through a corner of Bennington — Hoosick N. Y. — leave 
the main road, pass Hoosick-falls — Pittstown, Fosters inn, 24 miles. 

" 4 th Detained by rain till one oClock muddy roads — Bruns^ 
wick — Troy, Pattersons inn, rainy — only 11 miles to day — 

" 5 th Cross north river and ride to Albany 6 miles — 71 from 
Newfane — ramble about the City till one oclock — grow tired of a 
City life, dine in Washington St. — and start, taking the great Western 
turnpike leading to Cherry Valley travel in company wfth a sociable 
Dutchman — who gives me a ride in his waggon) muddy. Clay — a 
sudden shower — lodging at Deprats, Dutch inn Guiteerland 14 miles 
from albany — 

June 6 th Breakfast at Cheesmans — Princeton get a ride 20 miles, 
through, Duanesburg, Schoharie-Bridge — Carlisle — 36 miles from 
Albany conclude to leave this road and strike the Mohawk find com- 
pany, agree to an evenings walk stop & rest at a Cave arrive at 
Canaj oharry-bridge. 
11 at night — 47 miles fr. Albany 

June 7 th Breakfast, and start late, being well jagged with yesterday - 
travel — proceed up the Mohawk, on the south side, (the turnpike is on 

1 For a short account of this journal see the WiiOOfuUl Ma yw d M of Riitorf, 
TIT, 268-70. 

340 Documents 

the north) — Mindon — German-Flats — Herkemer-Courthouse — Em- 
mersons inn — 27 miles to day — the Grand Canal 2 is staked out on and 
near the road I traveled to day j 

" 8 th Sabbath, day of rest — A dutch meeting — some young emi- 
grants from Newhampshire came along, made some appology for 
traveling on the sabbath, and invited me to accompany them, but I 

June 9 th — Appearance of rain at hand — start for Utica 13 miles — 
Breakfast at Frankfort — begins to rain — get a ride to Utica — a very 
handsome Village rainy — towards night set forward for Whitestown 
17 miles this day — large woolen factories in this vicinity but doing 
very little buisiness 

Fall in Company with a Gent, traveller who gives the following 
account of himself. 

"Constant A. Andrews by name, from Newyork City going to a tract 
of land on the mississippi river called "Carvers Purchase, — has pur- 
chased some of sd. land. — that the Proprietor, D r . Samuel Peters, 3 
with agents from a Company of merchants in Newyork who have pur- 
chased sd. tract of D r . P. are coming on and will join him at Rome., 
or York in Canada.,. 

June 10 th Rainy — get a ride to Rome, about 100 miles from Albany- 
put up at Merills, Stage hotel, 

I must now sit down and determine what course to pursue — the 
prospect is rather gloomy — 

Swarms have been and are pouring from the "nation's hive" (New 
England) to people the Western forrests; it seems they have over- 
stocked the market; for I daily meet those who are retracing their 
steps; they tell a discouraging story — 

I have the choice of two ways before me, either to sneak back again like 
a henhearted fellow, or boldly venture beyond the beaten track of 
former adventurers, I have dissuasives from the former, and incen- 
tives to the latter course. M r . Andrews is solicitous to have me 
accompany him ; and I am inclined to think I shall — 

2 The Erie Canal, begun in 1816 and opened to traffic in 1825. 

3 Rev. Samuel Peters was an Episcopal clergyman of Connecticut, who 
because of Tory proclivities was driven out of the country at the opening of the 
Revolution and for thirty years resided in England. In 1805 he came back to 
America and devoted the remaining twenty years of his life to vain efforts to 
obtain ownership of the Carver Grant in western Wisconsin. Peters is perhaps 
best known to posterity for his history of Connecticut, published anonymously in 
London in 1781. 

Life in Wisconsin One Hundred Years Ago 341 

May the Almighty God who rules the Universe be my Protector, may 
he incline my heart to pursue that which will conduce most to his 
glory, and my Eternal happiness. 

June 11 th — Wait the arrival of boats, intending to take passage 
down to Oswego — Rome is situated on the Mowhawk where it is united 
by a canal with Wood-Creek. 

99 12 th Superior Court sits at Rome — a large number of criminals 
indicted, among whom I recognised one familiar face, vis. Benjamin 
Flint a native of Newfane Vt. 

(for Counterfeiting. 

" 13-14 th Rainy — wait with impatience for boats — attend 
court — several crininals tried and sentenced to hard labor, from 5 to 
ten years — an Indian convicted of murdering his brother — Evening — 
boats atlength arrive up the Mohawk — Write to my father — enclose 
a ticket in the Washington Bridge lottery No. 9102 — 

" 15 th — Sabbath — take our passage down Wood-Creek, which is 
very winding. Country flat and in many places inundated Arrive 
at Oneida Lake, 22 miles by the Creek — a tavern without beds — take 
lodging across 2 chairs — 

" 16 th — Windbound at the head of Oneida wait with great im- 
patience — Eve. wind abates — 10 oclock start by rowing — I lend some 
assistance — continue all night by rowing. 

" 17 th Fair wind for sailing — 7 oclock opposite Rotterdam 
unfortunately run on a rift of rocks get of [f] with some difficulty — 
28 miles across the lake — enter Oswego river — stop for the night at 
"three river Point" — 18 m. fr. the Lake a bridge across the river 
here— two or three houses — obtain lodging in one of them 

" 18 th take a pilot to pass the rapids — 12 miles to the falls — at 
very high water, boats sometimes pass down but never ascend these 
falls — one mile, land Carriage — by the falls — fortunately find a boat 
ready to start. 12 miles to Oswego on Lake Ontario — a considerable 
village — it was taken by the British in the last war — arrived here 
about noon — Engage a passage to York Upper Canada in the 
Schooner Morning Star — 140 miles for $3 — 

June 19 th — Wait a favorable wind — Sunset hoist sail with a light 
breeze — the cargo consists entirely of passengers, about 40 in num- 
ber, mostly emigrants from England, going to Canada. 



June 20 th Very little wind, therefore we make but little progress — 
the water of the Lake is clear and cool. 

" 21* A dead calm most of the day 
June 22 d — Sabbath — York light-house in sight — scarcely any wind — 
4 oclock PM. cast anchor in the bay of "little York" (otherwise 
Toronto.) 4 

» 23 d — M r . Andrews calls on Mrs.- Jarvis, daughter of Dr. Peters, 
and wife of the secretary of U. Canada and informs her that her 
father is on the way here — she is transported with the news — requests 
me to start with the information to his son W m . B. Peters, Attorney, 
in Dundass, near Burlington heights, 50 miles west — (now called 
Hamilton) furnished with a good horse, and letters of introduction 
arrive in Dundass late in the evening. 

June 24 th Esq. Peters, absent from home — am invited to tarry till 
his return — am treated with much politeness — Mrs Peters and her 
daughter, are very amiable in the afternoon walk out to view "Bur- 
lington heights" the British headquarters during the late war. 
June 25 th — return to York — the country is newly settled principaly 
by "Americans (or as they are called, Yankees" )- — the land is generaly 
flat, heavy timbered, and clay soil, but appears to be fertile, their 
farms tho — new, look flourishing — the road is mostly on a streight 
line, called "Dundass street" 50 miles in length — with farms arranged 
on each side — adjoining York I passed through a Pine forrest of 8 
miles — 

June 26 th hire my board at a private house $3.50 per week — purpos- 
ing to wait the arrival of D r Peters 

" 27 Write to my Brother Royal in Ellicott Ny. 

" 28 th this place is the seat of Goverment for Upper Canada, it 
is handsomly laid out into building lots and will probably be a place 
of considerable trade when the back country is well stocked with 
inhabitants it was taken by the Americans under Gen. Pike who 
lost his life by their blowing up the Arsenal — 

By an act passed since the war if a citizen of the U. Stats purchases 
land in this Province it is forfeited to the Crown it is said nearly half 
of the inhabitants are natives of the States, and they begin to grow 
jealous of them — Dureing the war any who were suspected of being 

4 The parenthetical explanation was, apparently, added to the manuscript at 
some later time. 

Life in Wisconsin One Hundred Years Ago 343 

friendly to the Americans were persecuted with the greatest severity. 
June 29 th Sabbath — A meeting for religious worship is held in town, 
but being a stranger, I did not attend 

" 30 th C. A. Andrews executes a deed of 100 hundred acres of 
land in "Carvers tract" to me 

July 1* Busy myself by making board rules — reading or sauntering 
through the streets — 

99 2 d — D r . Peters arrives — Accompanied by Messrs — Thos. 
Taylor and John Tuthill — an affecting meeting of him and his 
daughter, after 12 years abscence — 

99 3 d . D r Peters is about 84 years of age, 5 quite infirm, but says 
he will pursue his object of obtaining "Carvers land till he obtains 
it, or ends his life — he is very sociable — promises me good encorage- 
ment, as do the other agents if I will go with them 

July 4th American Indepependance — hear the Cannon at fort 
Niagara which makes the royalists snarl Some American mechanics 
imprudently ride through through the town with a flag hoisted — 
some miscreants collected at night to mob them, but did not succeed — 
July 5 th — 3 oclock PM. After much trouble, we start in a waggon 
for Lake Simcoe — distance 40 miles North — our company consists 
of Taylor, Tuthill, Andrews and myself — D r Peters stays till monday. 
July 6 th Sabbath. Have had entertainment and lodging in a town 
Called "Volney" — our rout is through a Quaker Settlement — hand- 
some farms though mostly new 3 oclock PM arrive at "Holland 
Landing" "Gillington" — just escape a tremenduous shower — a Mr 
Johnson keeps tavern here — and owns a small schooner that can come 
up the river to this place 

July 7 th Walk out to Newmarket — Robinsons mills store &C — 6 
miles — 

July 8 th — Indians are as thick as bees — the British have been dealing 
out presents to them 

" 9 th Johnsons schooner sails — Andrews and Taylor take pas- 
sage in her — Tuthill and myself wait with impatience for D r Peters — 

99 10th D r - P. arrives — 12 oclock we start in a little Birchbarfc 

Canoe, with a frenchman, his squaw, 3 children and several hundred 

weight of baggage — tis astonishing how much these "eggshells" will 

'Peters was born Nov. 20 (O. S.), 1735; lie was, tboreforo. in hU ci : >M\ 
second year at this time. 



bear up on the water — the least movement of those unacquainted with 
them will overset them — they are so light that an Indian will carry a 
considerable one on his head across the portages — We paddle down 
Holland River, 10 miles — enter Lake Simcoe 30 miles across — night 
overtakes us about halfway — land — strike up a fire — and encamp in 
the open air — a tough beginning for old D r - P- but his courage holds 

July ll tn — start early — soon commences a heavy rain, that drenches 
us to the skin — 11 oclock Arrive at Kempenfelt bay — west end of the 
Lake — find Andrews and Taylor here the British have 3 store 
houses here. 

July 12 th - Cross a portage of 8 miles, horrible road thro, woods and 
swamps, to Nottowassauga Creek — Moscketoes beat all I ever met 
with before — a few store houses here D r P. Andrews, and Tuthill, 
immediately start down the river in an Indian Canoe deeply laden 
with baggage — 

July 13 th Sabbath — Taylor and myself proceed in our frenchmans 
canoe — a very winding stream — the country flat, thickly wooded and 
in many places overflowed so that we sometimes left the crooked 
channell and sailed through the woods — 1 oclock arrive at Nottowa- 
sauga, on Lake Huron 6 — 40 miles by the Creek — a few houses here 
the British had a considerable establishment at this place but have 
lately transfered it to Pentanguechine 

July 14 th The Schooner we intended to have taken passage in, sailed 
before our arrival ; therefore we are obliged to purchase a small boat, 
$60 — it being calm we set of [f] by rowing — our Company consists of 
10 persons viz. D r Peters, Andrews, Taylor, Tuthill, our frenchman, 
his wife and three children — 5 working hands, 4 at the oar and one at 
the helm, at which we take turns — Intend to coast the N. E. shores of 
Huron to Drummond island, and thence to Mackinaw — expect to be 
out 10 or 12 days — stop to dine on a barran sandy shore — we regale 
ourselves with a dish of tea, and mess of fish our course is about 
N.W. — stop for the night on a small island inhabited, chiefly, by 
gnats who recieved us gladly. 

July 15 th start by rowing — pass "Mackodash bay" at the head of 

it the British have an establisment called Pentanguechine — the shores 

and bottom of the Lake is solid rock. 

6 The travelers had now reached Nottawasaga Bay, which is at the south- 
eastern end of Georgian Bay. 

Life in Wisconsin One Hundred Years Ago 345 

99 iQth — The Lake still and smooth the greatest curiosity we 
have is the immence piles of rocks, islands of rocks innumerable — 
encamp on one of them, — tormented by Mosketoes — sleep but little. 
July 17 th Start Early, row accross a large bay — high surf — after- 
noon, another bay, wind and waves uncommonly high, our passage 
dangerous among rocks that present themselves on every side the 
billows breaking over them — Again pleasant sailing being sheltered 
by islands 3 oclock, head West, wind against us — make our bed on 
the soft side of a rock. 

July 18 th Start with the sun — wind ahead, surf high — row hard about 
10 miles — stop on an island of rocks curiously broken into square 
pieces as nice as if sawed — Juniper, and Goosbery bushes are the 
principal vegetable productions — exercise our ingenuity in making a 
goosbery Pie, have rare luck — 4 oclock PM. start again — very little 
wind — sundown, encamp on rocks 

" 19 th Set of [f] at sunrise — wind strong ahead obliged to lie by 
all day 

99 20 th Sabbath, rather cold, breakfast and proceed — the wind 
still in our teeth — -stop at 4 PM. 

July 21* Free wind for sailing — pass an Indian village, at a place 
called by the French "cloche" (Bell, in English 7 ) they offer us a 
Beaver skin for Skittewabaw (rum) — a long string of islands — sail 
till near dark. 

July 22 d D r . Peters quite sick with the Lumbago — sail by day- 
light — 6 miles, the wind Comes ahead and compells us to lie by all day 
high winds the foaming billows dash and break over the rocks with 
great fury. 

July 23 d High winds from the west confine us still to our little island 
of rocks — our fire overruns the most of it and burns both wood and 
soil the principal timber that grows on these barran shores is stintid 
pine, cedar and juniper. 

July 24 th Start by daybreak- — still a westerly breeze — sunset en- 
camp on a sandy shore thick woods — quite cool. 

July 25 th Wind against us by hard rowing reach an Indian encamp- 
ment — 11 oclock A. M. stop — they are called Missasaugcs — a Bandy 
plain surrounded by high rocky mountains — tack to the SW. meet 

'Apparently Cloche Island, which lies between Manitoulin Tsl.uul and the 
Ontario mainland. 



some Mackinaw boats laden with peltry — encamp on an island some 
distance from land 

July 26 th Continue steering S. W. — wind ahead — Drummond island 
in sight — and we begin to take courage — encamp on a small island. 
July 27 th — Sabbath — Rainy morning — the first we have had for 16 
days — St. Joseph's, at the outlet of Lake Superior, in sight — 11 
oclock AM. reach the settlement on Drummond's island a new estab- 
lishment by the British 8 this island is said to be about 45 

miles long the settlement is on the south end, they keep a garrison 
here commanded by a Col. 

July 28 th , Start for Mackinaw — 45 miles West the wind soon sets in 
against us — with hard tugging at the oar we reach a small island 
about half way. 

" 29 th One oclock in the morn — we start, by the light of the 
moon — lake still and smooth — sunrise the wind helps a little — 9 
oclock, fine breeze, Mackinaw in sight — the fort makes a handsome 
appearance, standing on high ground and completely white-washed — 
12, we sail up handsomely to the celebrated island of Mackinaw and 
landed once more on American soil having coasted the Northern 
shore of L. Huron about 400 miles — a chain of islands stretch along 
near the shore most of the way — we were obliged to keep behind them 
as much as posible with our little boat to avoid the roughness of the 
lake — the island of Mackinaw is about 3 miles long and 1% broad 
the fort stands on elevated ground and can command the whole island 9 
the town is on the south shore — a small plain just under the fort, the 
houses are many of them built of logs and roofs covered with bark 
however their appearance is better inside than out, many of them are 
handsomely furnished the inhabitants are a mixture of Americans 
French, British and Indians of all sorts and descriptions — the garri- 
son consists of about 200 men commanded by Col. McNeil 10 con- 

8 The post on Drummond Island had been established after the British 
withdrew from Mackinac in 1815. Although in fact within the boundary of the 
United States, the establishment was maintained by the British as a center for 
the control of the Indian trade until 1828. 

9 The latter observation is incorrect, as the Americans learned to their 
sorrow when the British attacked the place in the summer of 1812. 

10 Col. John McNeil had distinguished himself for bravery and hard fighting in 
the War of 1812. He left the army in 1830, having received from President 
Jackson the appointment of surveyor of the port of Boston. He was one of the 
commissioners who negotiated the Indian treaty of 1829 at Prairie du Chien ; copies 
of his journals on that occasion were later supplied the Wisconsin Historical 
Society by the executors of his will. 

Life in Wisconsin One Hundred Years Ago 347 

siderable trade is carried on here it being the general rendezvous of 
Indian traders. 

July 30 th Write to my friends — M r . Taylor concludes to return to 
Newyork — the rest of our company prepare for a voyage to Prairie 
du Chien, 600 miles, — where we expect to winter — were disappointed 
of finding persons at Mackinaw with whom we intended to open our 

July 31* Taylor sails for Buffalo, about 700 miles 
August 1* — About thirty bark canoes full of Savages arrive, part 
Sacks and part Winnibagoes, or Peunt towards night they commence 
a dancing frolic — it was a novel sight to me — they danced and sung 
before almost every door in the village from each of which they expect 
a present of Bread, tobacco, whiskey or something else — most of them 
were nearly naked and were painted or daubed with black, red and 
white, and decorated with quills, feathers, tails of wild beasts &C. so 
as to appear horridly frightful. 

Aug. 2 d Two months since I left Newfane about sundown start for 
Prairie du Chien having hired our passage in an Indian trading 
boat, belonging to Mr John Dousman, 11 our company consists of D r . 
Peters, Andrews, Tuthill and myself passengers, — Andrew Leiphart 
master, 1 interpreter 1 clerk, and 6 french boatmen, proceed about 
5 miles and encamp — 

Aug. 3 d — Sabbath Indians hooting all night — Breakfast and pro- 
ceed — pass the Michegan streights — wind comes ahead obliged to 
lie by 

Aug. 4 th A very heavy shower, with sharp Lightning and hard 
thunder last night in the morning, cold and high winds — strike our 
tent and remove into the woods for shelter from the wind 

" 5 th " 6 th Wind high, from the west, the white caps roll and 
break on the shore with violence — 

Aug. 7 th A calm — we proceed on our voyage encamp at the mouth 
of a river — some indian graves in this place. 

Aug 8 th Warm weather — 12 oclock arrive at a place called by the 
French Shuchwa (Shouchoio) 12 25 Leagues from Mackinaw B soft 

n John Dousman was a Pennsylvanian who had come west ms an army Battel 
some years before the War of 1812. He lived for a time ;it Green Bay, then nt 
Mackinac, and still later (1824) returned to Green Bay, where he died the 
following year. 

"Point Seulchoix, in Schoolcraft County, Michigan. 



kind of stone or marble is found here — on which we, as new comers 
must engrave our names, and pay a customary treat to the boat-men — 
encamp again at the mouth of the river. 13 

Aug. 9 th We give the boatmen a treat, one of them turns down about 
a pint and lies dead drunk — We keep on the North side of the Lake — 
encamp on a stony flat — 

August 10 th Arrive at the entrance of Green Bay cross over to the 
South side — numerous islands, with remarkable high precipices — one, 
the French call Le De Pou (the Louse) — Pleasant weather — encamp 
on an island they call "Petite Detroit" (little Streight) a band of 
Indians reside here, they are employed in building Birch Bark Canoes, 
and weaving flag mats. 14 Sabbath — 

August 11 th Pass point "De Mort" (or point of Death) so called 
from the many Indian canoes wrecked there in attempting to pass 
the point which is perpendicular — rocks rising out of the water 
August 12 Pleasant weather, fair wind for sailing encamp on a 
white oak plain — Mosketoes troublesome 

Aug. 13 th Arrive at the head of Green Bay, enter Fox river steering 
about south — 12 oclock arrive at Fort Howard — We had neglected 
to obtain pasports at Mackinaw but after some difficulty have per- 
mission to proceed — pitch our tents about 2 miles above the mouth 
of the river the inhabitants are French and live on both sides of the 
river — distant from Mackinaw 240 miles 

Aug. 14 th This appears to be a pleasant place and the land fertile, 
though poorly cultivated — their crops of Wheat and corn look well 
obtain garden vegetables, milk, &C. but at a high price A funeral on 
the death of a frenchman — cermonies performed in the Roman Catho- 
lic style — sunset — proceed about 2 miles and encamp — the river I 
should judge is near % mile wide the water, very dirty occasioned I 
believe principally by the Rice blossoms. 

Aug. 15 th Foggy morning — proceed about 2 m. stop at mr. John 
Jacobs 15 — D r . Peters Baptises two of his children — our course is 
S. W. the land on the N. W. Side has a beautiful appearance being 

13 The Manistique River. 

14 For an interesting account of a visit to this village only a month after 
Peters' party see Wis. Hist. Colls., VI, 165-66. 

15 John B. Jacobs, a native of Canada, who settled at Green Bay about the 
year 1800. About the year 1827 he returned to Canada and there spent the 
remainder of his life. 

Life in Wisconsin One Hundred Years Ago 349 

composed of gentle rises interspersed with vales of high grass — very 
thinly wooded with scattering oak and hickory, 
j August 16 th Start early, proceed to the rapids before breakfast — 
6 Leagues from Green Bay they unload the boat and drag it near a 
mle up the rapids — a frenchman 16 lives here who transports the 
loading in carts — here is an elegant seat for mills and will probably 
be improved at some future day — the country looks beautiful and 
inviting — the weather is warm — Lockwood 17 with another trading 
boat overtakes us — they hire Indian canoes to take part of the load 
as the river is rapid for several miles 

several of us walk 2 or 3 miles — meet two persons by the names of 
"Gunn, and King" 18 who have been out to gain inteligence respecting 
Carvers land 

Aug 17 th Sabbath — The hands have to drag the boat most of the 
way against a swift current sometimes perpendicular falls — a heavy 
shower pitch our tent in a twinkling and just escape it — Start again 
about noon — 3 oclock arive at some falls 19 — they are about 5 or 6 
feet, perpendicular a solid rock stretches from one shore to the other 
the two boats double their team, mustering Indians and all, about 25 
strong, and haul the boats up without unloading — encamp 1 m. above 
the fals 

Aug 18 th Morning Cold — the river spreads out near % of a mile 
wide — smoth sailing a short distance — more rapids — half unload, and 
cary it at twice to Winnibago Lake — I proceed there by land — it 
begins to rain — Indians bring us green corn, beans, and potatoes for 
bread salt and tobacco 

Aug 19 th Rainy most of the day — Indians continue to suppW us with 
vegetables, ducks venison &C. they take out the boat and Caulk it — 
Aug 20 th Heavy shower with thunder & lightning last night — 
cloudy — the men backward about starting — Lockwood started yester- 

M Apparently Augustin Grignon, a prominent trader of Wisconsin. His 
recollections are printed in Wis. Hist. Colls., Ill, 197-295. 

"James H. Lockwood, a prominent resident of Prairie du Chien in the 
early part of the nineteenth century. Lockwood was a native of Ne w York) he 
came west as a young man at the close of the War of 1812 and engaged in the 
Indian trade. His permanent residence at Prairie du Chien dates from 1819. 
See his recollections in Wis. Hist. Colls., II, 98-196. 

"These men were grandsons of Jonathan Carver and were returning, 
disappointed, from the same mission on which Peters was out ward hound— to 
gain the recognition of the Sioux chiefs of their claim to the Carver Grant 

"Known as the Grand Chute, where the modern city of Aj>pletOD DM arisen. 



day — we move about 12 oclock — the Lake is about 24 miles long from 
N. to S. — and 6 broad — we steer S — 20 miles, then turn west and 
enter Fox river again — 6 miles up we come to Dead Lake 9 m. long, 
and in the broadest part about 3 — course through the Lake N. W. 
till we arrive at (La Be des Mort) "the Bank of the dead" where we 
encamp — a band of Menomine Indians live here — called by the French 
"Folsavoine" (or Wild Rice) — the French in former days destroyed 
an Indian village at this place for committing depredations on their 
trade which gave the Bank its name. 

Aug. 21* — Pleasant, but cool — proceed 2 miles and the river branches, 
the one from the W. is called Wolf river — the Fox river turns S — 
then E. and almost every point of the Compas but the general course 
appears to be S. W. Extensive Prairies, or Meadows on each side 
of the river covered with high grass, and interspersed with groves of 
young trees — Wild Rice grows in great abundance — ducks and other 
wild fowl are plenty the day is pleasant and the scenry is beautiful 
beyond description — the river is about 6 rods wide, very smooth and 
a serpentine course, winding to the S. and W. — Encamp on a white 
Oak plain about 6 feet higher than the river — 40 m. from Winnibago 
Lake — 90 to the Ouisconsin 

Aug 22 d — Some rain last night — cloudy and foggy — proceed 4 miles, 
pass a place called "Yellow Thunder" 20 — prospect of rain — steer all 
points of the compass — 5 oclock PM. it begins to rain, encamp on 
the W. side of river 

Aug. 23 d Heavy rain last night — 10 oclock arrive at a place where 
one and half mile by land, equals 15 by the river — several of us walk 
across the isthmus — shoot Pheasants, ducks and pigeons — the boat 
in doubling the point steer west and then turn east again — they pass 
some Indian Lodges, get green corn and mellons this, is said to be 
midway between Winnibago Lake and the portage into the Ouisconsin 
24 leagues each way — a few miles and we enter a Lake called by the 
Indians "Pockwak" (Flag Lake) 9 miles long — 3 broad, course 
through the lake S.W. — Rice, and flags, or bulrushes are in such 
abundance as impedes our progress — some of it grows to the height of 
6 feet above the water — pitch our tents on the N. side — 

20 This was the village of the noted Winnebago chief, Yellow Thunder. He 
died at an extreme age in February, 1874. 

Life in Wisconsin One Hundred Years Ago 351 

Aug. 24 th Sabbath — Pleasant weather — some of us take a trip on 
land, but in pursuit of game we miss the point we intended to take the 
boat, and wander over hills and through meadows near 6 miles — 
arrive on the banks of "Lac la Beuf" (or Ox Lake) — some high hills 
for this country — shoot a large speckled snake off a tree rattlesnakes 
are said to abound through this country this lake is 9 miles long 
but narrow — near night another portage of y 2 mile, but the boat has 
several miles, and is seen meandering through the meadows in every 
direction, the river is concealed by the grass — 

Aug. 25 th — 24 miles to the portage — general course appears to be 
near S. — 9 oclock pass a place where a girl was buried, said to be 
poisned by a cruel stepmother — the grave enclosed with pickets on 
the Cross at her head was an inscription in French to the following 
import "Theresse Chappeau died Oct. — 1815 aged 10 years" — the 
river grows narrow, 6 of us get out to walk, thinking to make a short 
cut we wandred out of our way 6 or 8 miles, crossed a large meadow, 
a termerack swamp &C. part of us joined the boat a few miles before 
it reached the portage — they had passed a small Lake called Mud- 
lake — the channel is narrow and full of rice and mud, in some places 
almost impassable — arrived at the portage 4 oclock P. M. 
the distance from Mackinaw to this place is, called 140 Leagues, or 
420 miles — from Green Bay 60 Leagues — and from this portage to 
Prairie du Chien 60 Leagues — 

Fox river from Winnibago Lake has a very winding course, no rapids, 
several small lakes and great quantities of Wild Rice — its general 
course appears to be S. S. W. 

On both sides of the river are large and extensive Prairies or meadows 
covered with high grass — the upland is dry and sandy, principally 
timbered with various kinds of Oak The Indians inhabiting this 
country are Winnibagoes and Menomines (called by the French 
Puants, and Folsavoins) they are reported to be rather inimical to 
Americans but I saw nothing unfriendly in their behavior — the only 
domestic animals I saw among them were horses and dogs — tliev 
cultivate corn, potatoes, turnips, beans &c. 

Aug 26 th — The portage between Fox river and the Wisconsin (or M 
the French spell it Ouisconsin) is little more than a mfle, low level 
land, and free from wood, I think they might be easily united by I 



canal — A Frenchman lives here and transports boats and their 
cargo — he broke his carts and hindered us one day — encamp on the 
banks of the Wisconsin — Saw a Rattlesnake the first I ever saw. 
Killed by an American, Indian Trader named Lockwood 
Aug. 27 th More boats Arrive to the number of 6 12 oclock, our boat,- 
in company with two others, starts down the Wisconsin — rapid 
current, sandy bottom, not very crooked, and no rice — about 50 or 60 
yards wide though it frequently spreads out much wider — full of 
islands and sand-bars this river is said to head 300 miles above the 
Portage our course about S. W. — 25 miles, and encamp 
Aug. 28 th Rainy — frequent difficulty in dragging the boat over sand- 
bars — the adjacent country is full of small hills that shoot up very 
high and seem to terminate in a point, some are of solid rock, others 
appear to be sand — the low land is thickly covered with wood — 4 
oclock PM. pass a perpendicular rock of considerable height — 
Aug. 29 th — Commences raining at day-break clears up at eight — 
9 oclock pass the halfway place, 30 Leagues each way, the river turns 
from S. to S.W. — the land uneven, precipices frequently occur of solid 
rock — sand-bars numerous, and sometimes rocks — pass a place called 
"English meadow" 21 from an English trader and his son, said to have 
been murdered there by the savages, 20 Leagues to Prairie du Chien 
Aug. 30 th — 9 oclock pass a large plain with high banks, called 
"Prairie du Bay" — 11 Leagues from "Prairie du Chien" pass Blue 
river, a small stream that comes in from the South between two high 
points of land, said to be navigable 30 Leagues for small boats — a 
few miles below another stream from the North called C[l?]ousy 
river 22 — 3 Leagues from the mouth of Ouisconsin several of us leave 
the boats and proceed by land to Prairie du Chien about 6 miles, where 
we arrive about 4 oclock P. M. 

And here I am on the banks of the far famed "Missisippi" — the rout 
I have traveled is about 2000 miles Three months ago I was in my 
native town ; in the pleasing circle of youthful acquaintance beyond 
which I had never ventured. 

a Probably English Prairie, on which the present town of Muscoda is 
situated. The usual explanation of the origin of the name is that the English 
troops under Col. McKay camped here in 1814, en route to the capture of 
Prairie du Chien. 

23 Evidently the modern Kickapoo. 

Life in Wisconsin One Hundred Years Ago 353 

Since that time what varying scenes have been presented to my view ! 
Scenes of terror and disgust, of admiration and delight, have alter- 
nately excited my attention. With admiration have I beheld the rare 
productions of Nature in these uncultivated regions; the verdant 
plains and varigeated hills and dales all clad in Nature's gayest livery 
without the aid of art, have filled my bosom with delight — On the other 
hand the tawny Savage of the wilderness, sculking in the thicket, 
besmeared with paint of various hues, and otherways decorated to 
render them frightful, thrill terror through the breast of those unac- 
quainted with their manners ; and their mode of living and eating is 
disgusting to those who have any sence of decency or cleanliness — 
Aug. 31* Sabbath — A general muster of the garrison, being the last 
day of the month about 200 riflemen commanded by Col. Chambers, 23 
they appear to be well dissiplined — the fort is about 50 yards square, 
composed of barracks built of hewn logs, with two block houses at 
opposite corners, mounting several small pieces of artillery — Called 
Fort "Crawford." 

The Prairie is an extensive plain 10 or 12 miles long and from 2 to 4 
broad — the inhabitants are French who settled here from Canada 
about 40 years ago — there is 20 or 30 houses in the vicinity of the 
fort, besides several clumps in differant parts of the Prairie — the river 
is said to be about a mile wide opposite the town, and full of islands — 
the people are galloping about on French Ponys playing at ball, 
billiards &c. so that the Sabbath appears to be a day of recreation and 
amusement among them — 

Sept. 1* — Rainy — Indians are numerous though they do not appear 
so plenty as at Mackinaw — the French I believ have most of them 
Indian wives 

Sept. 2d — th ree months since I left home — Excessive warm — the 
Thermometer 102 degrees in our tent — 

28 Colonel Talbot Chambers was appointed to the army from Pennsylvania 
about ten years before this time. At the close of the War of 1812 he was sent west 
to command at Mackinac. In the summer of 1816 he accompanied the troops to 
Green Bay to establish Fort Howard and commanded here for one winter. Tie 
was transferred to Prairie du Chien early in 1817, remaining until the spring of 
1818. At Prairie du Chien he acquired an unenviable reputation for despotic 
conduct. He was dismissed from the army in 1826 — according to one account for 
cutting off a soldier's ears — and entered the Mexican service, where he opposed 
his former countrymen in the war of 1846-48. 

354 Documents 

D r Peters and Tuthill visit Col. Chambers were politely received, and 
promised his assistance in the prosecution of their object, he is com- 
mander in chief here, there being no civil authority in the place 
Sept 3 d — Almost every thing bears an exorbitant price — we hire a 
small room for $3 per week 

Sept. 4 th I engage to work for a few days for a Mr Shaw. 24 who is 
building a mill about 4 miles N. by E. from the fort — $1 per day 
Sept. 8 th agree to work for Mr Shaw as a carpenter at $26 per 
month — Mr. Andrews as a millwright 

Sept 14 th Sabbath — visit the town on Sundays being at work other 
days — it is the custom with many here to spend this day in riot and 

Sept 20 th Taken very ill expect the Fever and Ague coming on 
Sept 21* Sabbath — Rainy — take a potion of Calomel and Jallap — 
Sept. 22 d Ague and Fever hangs on with great severity — commence 
taking Peruvian bark, as a sure remedy — 

Sept. 25 th My disorder begins to abate and I commence work though 

Oct 10 th A second attack of the Fever and Ague — but after a few 
days, by the Blessing of God and the use of proper medicine am enabled 
to get rid of it 

Oct. 17 th Lord Selkirk 25 a Scotchman passes the fort, from his settle- 
ment on "Red River" on his way to the City of Washington — 
Oct 19 th Sabbath — Pleasant weather — At y 2 past 8 in the Evening 
a messenger at full speed gave an alarm that the Indians had attacked 
the town directing us to make the best of our way to the fort — our 
firearms were all absent, or out of order we immediately concluded 
to flee — at the same instant the Indian whistle began to sound (the 
signal for attack) we rushed out were fired upon, and the war-whoop 
commencd we scatered retreted to the hills, finding ourselves not 
pursued, collected our company together and found two missing — 

24 This was Colonel John Shaw, whose recollections are printed in Wis. Hist. 
Colls., II, 197-232. 

^Thomas Douglas, Earl of Selkirk, in 1811 purchased 116,000 square miles 
of land in the Canadian Northwest from the Hudson's Bay Company and devoted 
the remainder of his life to establishing a colony there. He is the real founder 
of the Canadian West. At the time of his visit to Prairie du Chien Selkirk was 
en route to settled Canada to stand trial upon charges preferred by representa- 
tives of the North West Company, with which he had become embroiled. The story 
of Selkirk's life and work is told by Louis A. Wood, The Bed River Colony. A 
Chronicle of the Beginnings of Manitoba (Toronto: 1915). 

Life in Wisconsin One Hundred Years Ago 355 

after a long consultation we, from various reasons concluded it to be a 
false alarm, created by some evil disposed, drunken, lowlived persons — 
we cautiously returned to our cabin, where we found one of our men 
who in retreating a different way was driven back — and one man lay 
in the woods all night 

Oct 20 th — The Indian exploit of last night was performed by the 
officers of the garrison and some of the principal citizens, led on by 
the Col. — who came up today to excuse the matter — to palliate the 
unwarrantable act he said we were too earless in not being well armed, 
and being too far from the fort for protection he had adopted that 
plan as the only method of bringing us to our sense of duty — 
Oct. 25 th A snow storm — cold weather 
Oct. 27 th Warm — for the season — 

Nov. 2 A sleight head ache — symptoms of the Ague returning 
Nov. 3 d — Finish working for Mr- Shaw by the month — Undertake, 
in Co. with mr- Andrews to finish the mill for the use of it till the 
first of June — expect likewise to build a horse mill for mr- Rolette 26 
Nov.4 tn Quite sick with the Ague though not so violent as at first. 
Nov. 9 th Write to my father and friends in Vermont — 
Nov 11 Rainy day — thunder at night 

" 12 th Rig up our cabin and make it comfortable for the winter 
Nov. 16 Sabbath— Seldom go to town on other days. 
Nov. 18 th Col. Chambers lends us some muskets 

Nov. 23 d Sabbath — take a walk several miles up the Creek — Snow is 
about 3 inches 

Nov. 28 th An Indian Chief of the Fox tribe with his family takes his 

residence near us — the Indian agent, Mr. Johnson, 27 gives him a 

written recommend to us for friendship and protection 

Nov. 30 th Sabbath ride to the village — pleasant — the Missisippi has 

been nearly frozen over, but appears to be breaking up 

Dec. 1* — a heavy rain — 

Dec. 2 d — A sudden change in the weather — high winds and cold — 

* Joseph Rolette was a leading citizen of Prairie du Chien in the r.irlv 
decades of the nineteenth century. He was born in Canada In 1781, Came JOO 
Prairie du Chien in 1806, and died there in 1842. 

"John W. Johnson was the factor in charge of the government Indian 
trading house at Prairie du Chien. Before the War of 1819 he had served ai 
factor at Fort Madison, Iowa. On the abandonment of the factor? system In 
1822 Johnson removed to St. Louis. His wife was a woman of tb<- S ink tribe. 



Dec. 5 th A French Citizen confined and punished at the fort for 
selling whiskey to hirelings and soldiers contrary to orders 28 
Dec. 10 th Mild weather — take a walk to the village just at night — 
Dec. 19 th — Friday Severe cold Thermometer said to be below 
cypher, or zero. 

Dec. 21* Sabbath remain at home to keep garrison — several ladies 
visit me 29 

Dec. 23 d Moderate weather — rainy — 

Dec. 25 th Thursday — Christmas — the people here observed it with 
great exactness some as a holy day, and some as a holiday 
Dec. 28 th Sabbath — take a walk across the Missisippi and thence 
to town 

Dec. 30 th AD. 1817 Started the first mill by water in Prairie du 

Chien — it is a great wonder to most of the people 

Dec. 31* Col. Chambers and other officers visit the mill — bestow 

many praises upon it 

January the first AD. 1818 

A new, and may it be a happy year 

Farewell to AD. 1817 — another year is added to the thousands that 
have rolled away since time began ! 

A new year is ushered in with greetings of happiness — May I indeed 
have reason to bless it as auspecious, for many years to come. 
This, appears to be a proper time to pause and take a retrospect of 
what is past. 

In reviewing my conduct through the year that is past, with as much 
impartiality as self is capable of doing, I cannot find a base or 
unworthy action — A character fair — and conscience clear of inten- 
tionaly giving offence, or doing an injury, to any of the Children of 
men ! 

And am I then so happy as to be in the "path of Wisdom", so perfect 
as to need no amendment? — Alas! my consience tells me no; it whis- 

28 Lockwood describes (Wis. Hist. Colls., II, 129) one such punishment at 
the instance of Colonel Chambers. The culprit was "whipped, and with a bottle 
hung to his neck, marched through the streets, with music playing the Rogue's 
March after him." A similar affair, wholly to Chambers' discredit, is described 
in Ibid, 229-30. 

29 "To see mill" has been added at this point in the manuscript, evidently at a 
later time. Shaw's was the first water mill at Prairie du Chien, and hence may 
well have been an object of interest to the townsmen. Before its erection the 
people had had resort to "band mills" for grinding flour, the power being supplied 
by a horse attached to a sweep. 

Life in Wisconsin One Hundred Years Ago 3.57 

pers the words of Christ, "one thing thou lackest" — for notwith- 
standing thy self righteousnes, thy soul is in the gall of bitterness and 
bonds of iniquity ! — O ! God, it is thou, and thou alone, can cleanse 
the heart of sin, and draw it out in holy love to thee — suffer me not 
to remain another year in the stupidity of sin — Save, oh save my soul 
from endless torment, in Mercy give me grace for the sake of Jesus 
Christ the Savior and Redemer of sinners, Amen ! 
Jan. 2 d Write to Pardon Kimball and Lewis Newton, send by the 
express — the gentry visit the mill again — 

Jan. 4 th Sabbath — Remain at home alone — am visited by about 20 
indians and squaws returning from a hunt, give them a little food 
and tobacco, they in return give me some venison — 
Jan 5 th commence cutting timber for Roletts mill — hire one man by 
the name of Fisher — 

Jan 7 th Several Indians and squaws encamp about y 2 mile above us 
Jan. 10 th — We had considerable sport in killing a large wolf that 
had infested our doors for some time 

Jan. 11 th Sabbath — Ride to the village — Mr Johnson loans to me a 
file of New[s]papers — Severe cold — the frost bites my ears in re- 
turning — 

Jan. 12 th Our Indian neighbors visit often — we generaly give them 
a little food they bring us some venison to day — 
Jan. 13 th Andrews leaves here for Roletts mill — some of the Neigh- 
bors children come in the evening to learn to read 
Jan 14 th Weather more moderate 
Jan. 19 th Start the mill — but little water 

" 20 th — The water clears away the ice and finds the bottom of the 
canal — - 

Jan. 21* — Pleasant weather — the mill run pretty well — Beautiful 
evening — the moon at the full — let the mill run all night 
Jan. 23 d Cold, the mill freeses up — go to town, return in the evening 
and find two lusty indians with Fisher, determined to stay through 
the night but drive them off — 

Jan 25 th Sabbath Cold, squally — snow about 3 inches — ride to 
town in a "cariolc" (French Sleigh) on the Missippi — whiskey Belli 
at 6 dollars per gal. — but I am very clear of buying any -return in 
the evening, and find Fisher very much alarmed by some Indians nsit- 
ing him and behaving rather uncivil — 



Feb. 1* Sabbath. Write a letter to Moses Rice in, Vt. 

Feb. 5 th Keen Cold weather — D r Peters makes me a visit 

Feb. 7 th High winds — take a skip across the Prairie to town 
Feb. 8 th Sabbath — As severe cold I think as I most ever witnesed 
Feb 9 th fair sun but piercing cold * 

Feb. 10 th A duel fought this morning between Mr O, Fallon, 30 Indian 
Agent and Lt. Shade 31 of the garrison — the latter recieved the second 
shot in his under jaw — O, fallon unfortunately escaped without injury 
Feb. 15 th Sabbath — Col. Chambers lends me a bundle of news- 
papers — Vt. news — Galusha reelected Gov. — A law about passing to 
establish three banks — and an abortive attempt to rob, near Brattle- 

Feb. 20 th been at work with Mr Andrews for several days, at Rolettes 

Feb. 21 Mr J. Shaw's brother arrives from St Louis with several 
men going to the Pinery for rafting timber 

Feb. 22 d Sabbath — Washingtons Birthday under pretence of cele- 
brating it, some of the principal charactors get notoriously drunk. 
Feb. 27 th — Shaw and his party start for the pinery — take Fisher 
with them who has formerly lived with me. 

Evening — Am now entirely alone my nearest Neighbors on one side 
1/2 mile distant on the other a savage wilderness — 

99 28 th Pleasant weather — Cut out the canal and bring the water 
on the wheel 

March l* Sabbath — After much hard work, start the mill this morn — 
very warm weather — the People flock in to see the wonderous mill go 
by water Evnings when destitute of company spend my time in read- 
ing, writing, or mending my stockings — my library consists of a 
Bible and "Baxter's Call" — two precious books — "Carvers travels" 
an Almanac, and now and then a borrowed file of Newspapers — - 
My living at present is prety much as follows — Breakfast, Coffee, 
Bread, dried Beef and Onions — Dinner, fried Pork, Venison, Potatoes, 
Bread, &c. — Supper, Coffee — Flapjacks Beef and onions — 

80 Benjamin O'Fallon was a nephew of George Rogers Clark of Revolutionary 
fame. He seems to have shared Colonel Chambers' reputation for arbitrary 
conduct, which may account for Keyes' observation upon the outcome of the duel. 

31 William G. Shade of Maryland. He resigned from the service in Novem- 
ber, 1818. 

Life in Wisconsin One Hundred Years Ago 359 

March 6 th Too cold to grind — dress the stones, they are poor things 
for grinding 

March 8 th Sabbath Very warm — People anxious to have grinding, let 
the mill run — thronged with visitors — 

March 10 th Rainy by spells all day — Evning steady rain — 10 oclock, 
the flood breaks my waste-gate and stops the mill — My Cellar is full 
of water and Potatoes drowned — 

March 11 th A heavy flood last night the dam swept away — Canal 
broken in many places and a bridge across the Creek has gone down 
the Missisipi 

March 12 th — Snow all gone — ground full of water — the Prairie al- 
most impasable — 

Eve. 10 oclock — Commences raining very hard 

March 13 th — Mr Andrews with several men come to assist mending the 
dam — water very high — we do but little good — 

March 14 th Clear and cold — work hard at the dam — grind a little — 
March 15 th Sabbath — Quite Cold — ride to town — Missisippi rising, 
and breaking 

99 18 th — Warm — towards night get most of the water turned 
into the Canal — start the mill. 10 oclock, water fails, stop the mill 
feel unwell — a pain in my bowels, and sickness at my stomach — 

" 19 th — Pleasant — dress the stones — in the afternoon start the 
mill — 12 at night commenced raining — 

March 22 d Sabbath Pleasant — the mill out of order which hinders 
me from grinding 

" 23 d dress the mill stones — 

99 26 th Stop the mill for want of wheet 

" 27 th Sabbath — Snow and rain together 
Sab.Eve. — have been reading "Baxters Call to the Unconverted'' his 
words cary Conviction to the Conscience, but alas! how soon they are 

March 30 th Warm and Pleasant — 

April 1* People begin to plow their land and sow wheat — 

" 4 th The mill out of order, by the works settling, Mr- Andrews 
assists in regulating it 

April 5 th — Sabbath — Walk to the village— the Prarie quite dry 
green herbage just springing up — All Nature looks smiling and gay — 



Surely if we have hearts susceptible of gratitude, they would at this 
time teem with grateful love, to that Benificent Being who gives life 
and animation to countless Millions ! 

April 8 th Warm and Pleasant — quit the mill for want of Wheat, and 
work with mr- Andrews 
April 10 th Return to the mill- 
Mr- O' Fallon, Indian Agent, starts for the falls of "St. Anthony" 
and St Peters river, with two boats and 50 or 60 men, to visit and 
council with the Souix — 

" 12 th Sabbath— beautiful weather— 

" 14 th Quit the mill again 

" 16 th Shaw and Fisher come down from "Black river" in a 
starving condition — have had bad luck in getting their raft into the 

April 19 th High wind from the North for several days, and cold — 
April 22 d Col. Chambers orders 4 building lots to be laid off, below 
the village on the river for the use of Americans — I obtain the 2 
choice — purchase some rails and partly enclose it — the Menomine 
Indians have a meeting or dance — it seems to be of the religious kind — 
they performed a great many ceremonies the meaning of which I did 
not comprehend — the speakers delivered their discourses with great 
rapidity and vehemence some of them continue to harangue more 
than two hours without intermision 

April 24 th — A Boat arrives from St. Louis 35 days — laden with Pro- 
visions, Whiskey, dry goods also packets of letters and Newspapers — 
Whiskey has been sold at 10 or 12 dollars the gallon — many other 
articles exorbitantly high 

April 25 th Walk out into the Prairie to see an Indian game at Ball— 
the Menominies and Winnibagoes play on opposite sides — they dis- 
play great activity and address in catching and hurling the ball, and 
mind neither broken bones nor bruises — indeed it is a most vigorous 
and manly exercise — "Carver gives a particular description of it in 

his travels the Menomines are victorious 3 times out of 5 and 

win the prize — 

April 26 th Sabbath — Indian traders returning from St Peters river 
and other places the celebrated Col. Dickson 32 comes in with them — 

82 Robert Dickson, noted British-Indian leader in the Northwest. Dickson 
had great influence with the Sioux, having married the daughter of a Sioux chief. 
An account of his career is printed in Wis. Hist. Colls., XII, 133-53. 

Life in Wisconsin One Hundred Years Ago 361 

lately from "L. Selkerks settlement" he is detained on suspision of 
transgressing our laws — the militia or "fensibles of Prairie du Chien" 
mustered — A false alarm at the fort about midnight — to try the 
spirit of the militia in turning out 

April 28 th 0' Fallon returns from council with the Souix. (formerly 
called Naudowessies) 

May l** — Warm — Andrews and myself cross the river in a canoe, 
pass through a narrow slue between two islands — the river about 
one mile wide — ascend a small stream opposite the town about 2 miles 
to look for a mill seat — wind high in returning — 
May 2 Rather cold — Northwest wind — 

May 3 d Sabbath Suddenly taken with the Crick, occasioned by tak- 
ing cold — 

A complaint is made to the Indian agent against the Winnibagoes 
for stealing horses and shooting hogs — they are threatened with con- 
finement and punishment at the fort unless they make restitution 
May 4 th — Write to my father — work at Roletts mill — Rolette sells 
the whole of his property in this place to Mr Ayrd 33 a fur trader for 

May 5 th Evning — have been grinding all day, and continue — the fire 
is overrunning the country which is always the case here in the spring 
and autumn — it is slowly decending the hills south of my cabin in a 
column of more than a mile in length, enlightning the whole valley 
otherwise dark and cloudy — it is a pleasing though solemn prospect. 
May 6 th Cool morning, with a little rain and snow — borrow some 
Newspapers of Mr Johnson 

May 9 th Dissolve partnership with M r .- Andrews by mutual con- 
sent — raise my price from 25, to 37 % cts. per bushel for grinding 

99 10 th Sabbath Warm and Pleasant — visited by a number of 
French people at the mill 

» nth — a smart thundershower in the morning — showrv all 
day — there has been no rain for some time before 

* 12 th Uncommon heavy thunder last night attended with rain — 

from the best observations I have been able to make, there is not near 

the quantity of rain falls here, there does in Vt., — but there il 

generaly every morning a very large dew — 

88 James Aird, a Scotch trader who had located at Prairie du Chien in the 
latter part of the eighteenth century. His trade was Largely with the Stout 

362 Documents 

May 14 th At the mill — beautifuly pleasant weather — Plum, and 
Cherry trees in full bloom — here I live like a hermit among the 
mountains, enjoying the Pleasures of solitude and retirement — tend 
the mill, read and write, prepare my victuals, and work a little 
May 15 th People are planting their corn — it sells at $6 per bush., 
Potatoes, at $5 they are miserable farmers — but little better than 
the Indians — have plenty of good land if they would but cultivate it 
May 16 th — Rolette, and Ayrd have had an arbitration of several days 
about their bargin. 

May 17 th Sabbath — cool and likely for rain 

May 20 th D r - Peters not being permited by the authorities here to 
open his business is obliged tho reluctantly to return; but is still 
confident he shall ultimately succeed having had private inteligence 
from several sources that are encouraging — 

Write to Mr Thos- Taylor of Newyork City Bowry — likewise to my 
brother Royal, at Ellicott N.Y. 

May 21* M r Tuthill starts this noon — write to my sister Philinda — 
am quite unwell — take a potion of Physic of D r Peirsons — return to 
the mill — 

May 22 d had a restless night — about noon just able to crawl to the 
nearest Neighbors 

May 23 d — Growing better of my sickness close my business at the 
mill and remove to the village — have made arrangements to commence 
a school — limited my engagements to 3 months — 30 students sub- 
scribed, at $2 per month each — 2 large Barges arrive from St Louis 
May 24 th Sabbath — Commence Board with Mr Fariboult 34 $15 per 

May 25 th Commence teaching school have but 2 or 3 pupils, that 
can speak much English 

May 26 th Rainy most of the day — the roof of my house leaky 

34 Jean Baptiste Fairbault, a native of Canada who came west in 1798 as an 
employee of the Northwest Company. About the year 1806 he located at Prairie 
du Chien, leaving here in 1819 to settle at Fort Snelling. From 1799 (when he was 
stationed on the Des Moines River) on he was engaged in trade with the Sioux. A 
county in Minnesota is named in his honor, and the city of Faribault in honor of 
his son, Alexander, who was born at Prairie du Chien in 1806. An account of 
Faribault's career is given in Minnesota Historical Collections, III, 168-79. 

Life in Wisconsin One Hundred Years Ago 363 

May 27 th A heavy rain last night clear and fair in the morn — have 
about 20 scholars that attend — a few of them can spell considerably — 
and form letters tolerably correct in writing 

May 28 th Quite cool for the season requiring a fire in my school — 
At the mill I was nightly serenaded by Whipperwills — here, it is 
Indian Powwows — the Copper coulered Natives, are as thick as 
grasshoppers in a dry autumn — 

May 29 th Have a tooth rotting, that gives me much inconvenience at 
meal time — borrow a Dictionary of the French and English Lan- 
May 31* Sabbath — General muster of the garrison troops — being the 
last day of the month — the militia are mustered every Sunday — I 
have not mustered with them yet — nor will I, on the Sabbath if I can 
avoid it — the Sabbath is used here as a leisure day, when those who do 
not choose to work, amuse themselves with play and holiday recrea- 
tions — 


The Wisconsin Historical Library has long maintained a 
bureau of historical information for the benefit of those who care 
to avail themselves of the service it offers. In "The Question 
Box" will be printed from time to time such queries, with the an- 
swers made to them, as possess sufficient general interest to ren- 
der their publication worth while. 


Do you issue any literature on the subject of the origin of the name 
"Wisconsin?" This subject of names is one of great interest to me and, 
strange as it may seem, it is quite difficult to obtain reliable information 
as to the origin of our states' names. 

Frederick W. Lawrence 
Brooklyn, New York 

Wisconsin is named for its principal river, but the origin of that 
name has never been satisfactorily determined. It had over twenty 
spellings on the early maps ranging from "Miscous" to the ordinary 
French form "Ouisconsin," Anglicized as "Wisconsin." An early 
governor of the state insisted on the form "Wiskonsan" until the 
present spelling was established by legal enactment. 

The United States board on geographic names gives the signifi- 
cance as "wild, rushing river" ; this is not accepted by our archeolo- 
gists, however, all the more that the portion of the river first seen and 
named was not of that character. A member of the Society's research 
staff is working out a theory of the name, but is not yet prepared to 
publish it. 


I write you today for information which is of vital interest to us at 
the present time. In March, 1918 among the Indian names given to 
ships by Mrs. Woodrow Wilson, "Sinsinawa" attracted our attention. At 
our request and through the courtesy of an official of the United States 
Shipping board, Saint Clara College was accorded the honor of naming 

Historical Associations of Sinsinawa 


the sponsor for this ship. The Sinsinawa was intended for war service, 
but after the armistice the plans were changed to make it a cargo ship. 
The ship was built between January, 1919 and the present date and was 
scheduled to be launched on September 6, 1919. A member of our 
alumnae was appointed sponsor and had the honor of christening the 
vessel at the Hog Island shipyards on the date named. All of this has 
brought the name "Sinsinawa" very prominently to our interest and we 
are now desirous of celebrating the event in a particular way. For this 
reason I am interested in obtaining all the information which your 
records may be able to afford us; below I am enumerating under separate 
heads the details about which I should like to have special information. 
I. A complete history of the name "Sinsinawa." 

1. Whether name of a chief, maiden, or what. 

2. The Indian dialect to which the name belongs. 

3. The meaning in the Indian language. 

4. Why applied to the mound which bears the name. 

5. When first used. 

II. Association of the name with events in the history of the 
territory of Wisconsin. 

III. Association of the name with events in the history of the 
state of Wisconsin. 

1. Association of the name with events in the history 
of Grant County. 

IV. Date of establishing the post office bearing this name. 

1. Names of persons responsible for the establishing of 
post office. 

V. Local history of interest, if there is any. 
VI. Names of citizens and legislators of the territory or state of 
Wisconsin associated in any way with the history of the place. 

VII. If there are any Indian traditions or recorded historical facts 
relating to the place while this section of Wisconsin was still a part of 
Michigan, we should be glad to have whatever your files may contain. 

Sister M. Clementine 
Saint Clara College, Sinsinawa 

The following report, taking up in order the several points noted 
in your inquiry concerning the history of Sinsinawa, has been pre- 
pared by Miss Kellogg of our research staff : 

I. Bulletin of United States Geographical Survey, No. 197, 
p. 239 gives the origin as "Sinsiawe," meaning rattlesnake. It dors 
not give the name of the tribe, but we incline to think it is a Sank and 
Fox word. All the region around there was the Sauk and Fox mining 
ground. The mound took its name from the crock, and t his Dame * M 
first applied to the former by Gen. George Wallace Join s when in 
1827 he leased a thousand acres containing the mound. The creel 


The Question Box 

first appears upon a map of the lead mines drawn in 1829. It is there 
spelled "Sinsineua." See Wis. Hist. Colls., XI, 400. Other spellings 
are "Sinsinewa," "Sinsinniwa," and "Sinsinnawa." General Jones 
states that the Indians accented the next to the last syllable. 

II, III. During the early period of Wisconsin history Sinsinawa 
was known as the home of General Jones. The best authority on his 
career is Parish, Life of George Wallace Jones, Iowa Biographical 
Series. The Jones manuscripts belong to the Iowa Historical Society. 
You may secure additional information from them. The property 
you now possess passed directly from Jones to Father Mazzuchelli 
about 1844. The records of your institution must supply the local 
history of the place in its later years. 

IV. The first post office was established in 1835 when General 
Jones was territorial delegate from Michigan. He was himself post- 
master and his emoluments were $1.92. In 1837 William P. Ruggles 
was postmaster. In 1839 no such office was reported. In 1841 
Charles Swift was postmaster, receiving 76 cents, with net proceeds 
$1.82. After that date there was no post office bearing the name 
Sinsinawa Mounds until 1857 when Thomas L. Powers was appointed 
postmaster and kept the place until 1865 when he was succeeded by 
O. S. Brady. 

V, VI, VII. The region of Sinsinawa Creek is that of the earliest 
lead mining by the Indians that is known. See account in Wis. Hist. 
Colls., XIII, 271-92. Old Buck, the Indian who discovered the Buck 
lead, was living on Sinsinawa Creek in 1828. There is a local tradi- 
tion that an American trader was killed at Sinsinawa during the 
War of 1812, probably on some branch of the creek. All of the 
Indians of this region were then in the British interest, and no "Long 
Knife," as they called the Americans, was safe if his nationality was 
known. This tradition may thus probably be true. In 1832 a log 
fort was built at General Jones's place, and there on June 29 three 
men working in a field without the fort were attacked by Indians and 
after a brief skirmish two of them were killed. The names are given 
differently by different authorities; some say John Thompson and 
James Boxley ; others Lovell and Maxwell. It is possible all four were 
victims of the war, since one authority (Wis. Hist, Colls., X, 192) 
says four men lost their lives at Sinsinawa during the Black Hawk 

Old Trails Around Eau Claire 


General Jones is the only man of prominence, so far as we know, 
who lived at Sinsinawa. However, he had as visitors most of the 
prominent men of the territory. In his autobiography, published 
in Parish's book, he tells of visits from Henry Dodge, the Gratiots, 
Jefferson Davis, and others. 


As chairman of the National Old Trails Roads of the Eau Claire 
chapter of the D. A. R. I have been advised by the state chairman to ask 
you for help in securing information in regard to old trails in Eau Claire 
County or vicinity. We are in our infancy as a chapter, having been 
organized only a little over a year, and while we are most anxious to do 
our part we are sadly in need of guidance by those of greater experience. 

If you can give me any information in regard to the old trails or 
advise me as to where I may secure such aid, I shall be very grateful. 

Ida Linton Hainer 

Eau Claire 

We are glad to make such suggestions as we can concerning the 
early trails. The exact locating of these trails is, however, such a 
local matter that we can only give general directions to be worked 
out by recourse to old settlers and local authorities. 

The valley of the Chippewa is, historically considered, one of the 
most interesting and one of the oldest locations in Wisconsin history. 
The lower part was the scene during one hundred years of the great 
contest between the Chippewa and Sioux tribes wherein the former 
gradually pushed the latter back to the Mississippi. If you can 
secure Minnesota Historical Collections, V, you can read about it in 
the account of the Chippewa historian, William Warren. His sisters 
are still living near White Earth, Minnesota, and perhaps you could 
obtain information from them. Address Theodore H. Beaulieu, and 
ask him if Mrs. English or her sisters can give you &ny information. 

The first English traveler in Wisconsin, Captain Jonathan 
Carver, ascended the Chippewa in 1766. He says that about thirty 
miles from its mouth the river branches and that between the two 
branches ran the great Road of War between the Chippewa and the 
Sioux. The boundary between the two peoples was settled at the 
Prairie du Chien treaty of 1825. It began half a day's march below 
the falls, thence to the St. Croix. It would be interesting for yon to 
locate that boundary. The half a day's march below the fallfl ifl laid 


The Question Box 

to have been at the mouth of Mud Creek near Rumsey's Landing. 
There was an overland trail from Lake Pepin to Menomonie and 
probably on to the Chippewa, used by the early lumbermen ; probably 
Mr. Henry E. Knapp of Menomonie could give you information about 
that. The first mail route was opened in 1850. Some of your old 
settlers might be able to trace that out for you. 

Mrs. Hainer of this city has shown me your letter in which you state 
your belief that the point on the Chippewa River established by treaty 
as dividing the lands of the Sioux or Dakota Indians from that of the 
Chippewa was at Rumsey's Landing at the mouth of Mud Creek. 

We in Eau Claire have always believed that it was the rocky bluff in 
our city near the Normal School and at the mouth of Little Niagara 
Creek. This answers the description of being "half a day's march below 
the falls of the Chippewa River" — about 12 miles by the trail. I also 
feel sure that in some old work I have read that this point was "one mile 
below the mouth of the Eau Claire River." A "day's march" was sup- 
posed to be from 20 to 25 miles, carrying packs of moderate weight as 
the Indians did on all ordinary journeys. Mud Creek would, I think, be 
too far to answer the description as being "half a day's march." 

I have taken some interest in such matters — such as the origin of the 
name Eau Galle — or Ogalla — spelled in several different ways. I saw 
a very old document written at that place which to my mind throws some 
light on this name and its origin. 

Robert K. Boyd 

Eau Claire 

The statement made in our letter to Mrs. Hainer concerning the 
location of the Chippewa-Sioux treaty boundary was based on printed 
sources. In 1875 T. E. Randall of your city published a series of 
articles on the history of the Chippewa Valley in the Free Press. 
These were collected into a volume and his statements form the basis 
of later local histories, such as History of Northern Wisconsin 
(Chicago, 1881), "Eau Claire County," 295; History of the 
Chippewa Valley (Chicago, 1891-92), 38. 

Your letter affords just the kind of reaction it is desirable to 
invoke. We at Madison cannot decide on points of local history and 
topography. We are desirous of having local interest aroused in 
these matters. Perhaps you can find some early settler of Eau Claire 
who can corroborate either your point of view or that of Mr. Randall. 
Kindly keep the Society informed if you are able to obtain more 
information on this matter. We shall also be pleased to have any 
information you can give us on the origin of the word "Eau Galle." 

Old Trails Around Eau Claire 


I think Mr. Randall is mistaken in fixing the dividing point between 
the lands of the Sioux Indians and the Chippewa "at or near the mouth 
of Mud Creek near Rumsey's Landing." The treaty describes it as being 
"half a day's march below the Falls of the Chippewa River." I came on 
the river in 1868 and to Eau Claire in 1871, and the traditions at that 
time were that the dividing place was the rocky bluff at the mouth of 
Little Niagara Creek which is, in fact, half a day's march, 12 to 13 miles, 
below Chippewa Falls. A day's march of ordinary travel, carrying packs 
of moderate weight and on a trail, was from 20 to 25 miles. 

This view is supported by the language of the much-talked-of Carver's 
deed, which in giving one distance says, "going east five days' march 
counting 20 English miles a day." From Chippewa Falls to Rumsey's 
Landing is certainly a full day's march, as I know from experience, 
having walked the distance on several occasions. Chippewa Falls was 
often visited by Indians in the sixties and early seventies but none ever 
came to Eau Claire; it was often said that they did not consider it safe — 
that they were still a little afraid of the Sioux, who had a village at that 
time on the Mississippi near Wabashaw. 

An incident under my own observation will illustrate this point. In 
1870 while going down river on a raft of lumber we approached Little 
Niagara Bluff. In the crew were several of mixed blood; one of these, 
Simon Chevalier was nearly a full-blood Chippewa and an odd character. 
As we approached this bluff one of the half breeds called out in a mixture 
of English, French, and Chippewa, "Hello Simon, prenez gar ah 
Bwahnuk": "Look out for the Sioux" ("Bwahn," Sioux — "uk" plural). 

I also remember reading in some old work, which I cannot now 
identify, that this dividing point was "one mile below the mouth of the 
Eau Claire River," and if this is true history, it would seem that our 
traditions must be correct. 

Mr. Randall speaks of Carson and Rand and of Capt. George C. 
Wales who built a mill on the Eau Galle River. There have been many 
conjectures as to the origin and meaning of the name Eau Galle, which 
has been spelled in almost all possible ways. 

Through the courtesy of Mr. C. W. Lockwood, whose wife is a 
daughter of the late William Carson, I have been furnished with a copy 
of a lumber contract, dated June 10, 1844, made by George C. Wales, 
Henry Eaton, and William Carson, who sold a season's cut of lumber to 
Benjamin W. Brunson. This contract, I think, gives a clue to the origin 
of the name, which is spelled "Augalett" and also "Augallett." If tin's 
was intended for Au Galet (pronounced o galay) the meaning of the word 
seems plain. The word "galet" is defined as meaning what is known in 
Scotland as shingle, a bed or ridge of course gravel or pebbles, usually 
on the seashore. Many of our rivers were named by the French royagenri 
from Prairie du Chien, and so our Eau Claire River was called "La 
Riviere de l'Eau Claire." There is a heavy gravel bar at the mouth of 
the Eau Galle River, and it seems natural that they should name t lu- 
sh-earn "La Riviere au Galet," the River at the Gravel Bank. Mr. 1 ock 
wood has submitted this hypothesis to the present William ( arson, and he 
believes it to be the correct view. Robert K. Bom 

Eau CInirr 


The Question Box 


In Volume XX of the Wisconsin Historical Collections, p. 350, in an 
official report of Mr. Brevoort, Indian agent at Green Bay, he mentions 
the Winnebago village of Kuskawoinanqua and locates it one hundred 
miles south from Portage, with a population of 200 persons. He also 
locates a village of "Rock River Winnebago" sixty miles south from 
Portage, with a population of 150 persons. The latter may have been the 
village of White Crow on the west shore of Koshkonong Lake which in 
fact is Rock River. 

"Kuskawoinanqua" may have been the Turtle Village of the Winne- 
bago, which was situated on the present site of Beloit Junction and occu- 
pied that site at the date of the Brevoort report. I have sought in vain for 
information concerning the village of "Kuskawoinanqua." No mention 
is made of it elsewhere in the Collections. I believe no Winnebago 
glossary has been published, although I understand Nicolas Boilvin a 
century ago prepared and forwarded to the Indian Department a collec- 
tion of Winnebago terms and definitions. Have you any memoranda in the 
Historical Library throwing any light on the Turtle Village other than 
what has been published? Can you suggest the probable meaning of 
the noun "Kuskawoinanqua"? 

I would gladly visit the library to consult authorities that might 
enlighten me. 

Cornelius Buckley, 


Miss Kellogg of the Society's research staff has prepared the 
following report upon the subject of your recent inquiry: 

The Rock River Winnebago villages are to me an insolvable 
puzzle. I am inclined to think that Brevoort's information was at 
fault, and that by "Kuskawoinanque" he was giving a form of Kosh- 
konong, but certainly the distances do not carry out this hypothesis. 
The vocabulary of Nicolas Boilvin has disappeared. We have had 
every search made for it in Washington with no success. We have in 
this library a manuscript Winnebago vocabulary compiled (or 
rather written down) by Dr. L. C. Draper from information obtained 
from Thomas J. George, an Indian trader, and from other sources. 
This vocabulary gives the Winnebago word for Beloit as Ki-chunk- 
ne-shun-muck-er-rah, Turtle Creek or River — not much like "Kuska- 

We have another manuscript document that only adds to the 
confusion, yet this latter must be considered authentic. It was 
written October 1, 1829 by John Harris Kinzie, Indian subagent at 
Fort Winnebago. He gives the Kosh-ko-o-nong [sic] village as 

Winnebago Villages on Rock River 


distant sixty miles from Fort Winnebago, with its chief as Little 
Priest. On Turtle River sixty-five miles is White Crow's village with 
600 Indians — the largest village he mentions. The next village is at 
the mouth of Sugar Creek, sixty-five miles, then the Sycamore village, 
seventy-five miles, and Sugar Camp, one hundred and twenty. He 
mentions none at the distance of one hundred miles. Where, by the 
way, can the White Crow village have been? The distance is all right 
for Carcajou Point; if the trail led to the Koshkonong village in 
Albion Township of Dane County, Carcajou Point was five miles 
beyond, but why call it Turtle River village? Any village on Turtle 
Creek would have been more than sixty-five miles from Fort Winne- 
bago. I can assume that Brevoort was mistaken; he lived at Green 
Bay, had no dealings with Rock River Winnebago, but Kinzie in 
1829 was their own agent. I have never been able to come to any 
satisfactory conclusion on this subject. If you have any light thereon, 
we would be glad to receive it. 


The brief account of Chief May-zhuc-ke-ge-shig in your December 
issue recalls the pleasant vacations that for some years I spent on the 
White Earth Reservation. I there met many Indians of the Chippewa 
tribe, for the most part of mixed blood, some of whom were well 
educated and accustomed to the conveniences and some of the luxuries 
of our twentieth century civilization. I remember with particular 
pleasure John W. Carl (a nephew of the old chief whose passing you 
record) and his charming wife. Mr. Carl was then residing in 
Mahnomen, Minnesota, where he held the office of county auditor. 
Educated for the bar, he never practiced so far as I know. He 
retained complete mastery of his native Chippewa, and it was through 
him that I met and talked with May-zhuc-ke-ge-shig. The Chief may 
have known a little English, but, Indian-like, he gave no evidence that 
he understood a word that I said. However, thanks to the skilful 
interpreting of Mr. Carl, the interviews were entirely satisfactory to 

His nephew told me that the Chief had known personally every 
president of the United States from Lincoln to Roosevelt. He quite 
frequently went to Washington on behalf of his people, and more than 
one president called him into conference on matters relating to Indian 
affairs. His moderation, good judgment, and friendliness to the 
whites were recognized by the federal officials. On some of these 
trips to the Nation's capital he was accompanied by Mr. Carl, who 
acted as interpreter. The old Chief always made a deep impression 
wheresoever he went. On several occasions he attended the theater, 
attracting more attention than any of the political notabilities. 

And small wonder, in such a setting; even in old age he was the 
finest specimen of his race that it has been my good fortune to 
encounter. Fully six feet in height, he was of large frame and as 
straight as an arrow. His noble head was a study worthy of a 
master's brush. When I first met him he wore a neat frock coat, 
flannel shirt, moccasins, and black felt hat. In much the same garb 

General Porter and General Parker 


he undoubtedly appeared in Washington in later life. President 
Roosevelt, especially, took a great fancy to him. 

The Chief, so Mr. Carl told me, possessed in a degree remarkable 
even in an Indian the power of oratory ; and this gift was exercised 
more than once to quiet the restlessness of the tribesmen. He was 
the white man's friend and his memory should be suitably honored. 

I like the photograph of May-zhuc-ke-ge-shig which I presented 
to the Society some years ago better than the one you have reproduced 
in your December issue. 

John Thomas Lee 



In the article entitled "General Grant and Early Galena" in the 
September, 1919 issue of the Wisconsin Magazine op History oc- 
curs an error which should not go uncorrected. I refer to Mr. Evans' 
statement that among the friends of Grant at Galena prior to the 
Civil War was "Colonel Porter, a West Point man, then superintend- 
ing the erection of a postoffice at Galena" ; and, further on, the state- 
ment that Porter, "who was partly of Oneida Indian blood," served 
as an officer on General Grant's staff in the Civil War. It will 
certainly surprise the many friends of General Porter, and General 
Porter himself, to learn that he is of "Oneida Indian blood" or in any 
way of Indian descent. 

The mistake has probably arisen by confusing the name of Porter 
with that of General Ely S. Parker, who served with Porter on Grant's 
staff. General Parker was Grant's military secretary during the 
later portion of the Civil War and in this capacity made the first 
engrossed copy of the terms of capitulation of General Lee ai 
Appomattox. He was an Indian, a Seneca, the son of a chief, and 
himself the last grand sachem of the Iroquois Confederacy. 3 He 
received an excellent education in the schools of New York and having 
become a civil engineer was in the employ of the federal government 
for several years prior to the war. In 1857 he was sen I bo Galena to 
superintend the construction of a customs house and a marine hospi- 

1 A life of General Parker has recently been published as Vol XXIII of the 
Buffalo Historical Society Publications. — Ed. 



tal ; here he remained several years and here he made the acquaintance 
of Captain Grant, then employed in the family leather business at this 
place. The career of General Horace Porter is too well known to 
call for extended comment. He comes of a prominent Pennsylvania 
family (his father was twice governor of the state) of Irish origin. 
He graduated at West Point in 1860, like Parker served on Grant's 
staff, won distinction by his service, and like Parker served later as 
Grant's executive secretary. Unless Mr. Lacher made a mistake (a 
thing which the similarity of the names would readily account for) 
in reporting Mr. Evans' recollections, it seems evident that the latter 
in old age memory confused General Parker, whom he doubtless knew, 
with General Horace Porter. 

J. S. Anderson 



The state house at Old Belmont, which was moved from its original 
site across the public highway about thirty years ago and used for the 
main building of a barn, has been moved back to its former site and is 
now in process of restoration. 

A bill was introduced in the Wisconsin legislature of 1917 asking 
for an appropriation to purchase two acres of land, including the 
site of the old capitol, move the building back to its former site, and 
restore it as nearly as possible to its original shape. 

The bill asked for $12,000; had this sum been appropriated, the 
park would have been enclosed with an appropriate fence, planted 
with trees, a care-taker's lodge erected, and such other improvements 
begun as would have made it one of the most attractive and interesting 
places in the state. But so much interest was being centered on the 
impending war that for a while it seemed doubtful whether any appro- 
priation would be made. As finally passed the bill carried an appro- 
priation of only $3,000. This sum was so much less than had been 
asked for that the question of abandoning the project was seriously 
considered. But the Commission felt assured that if the work was 
begun and carried out as far as the money appropriated would allow, 
future legislatures would appropriate sufficient funds to carry out 
the plan originally intended. 

Wisconsin's First Capitol 


There was much delay in procuring a clear title to the land. It 
was found that one David Wright, well known to the older citizens 
of this locality, kept a saloon near the old capitol building, some 
fifty years ago. The building in which the saloon was kept was burned 
down many years ago. It appeared that he had some claim on the 
lot on which his saloon stood, and when the farm was sold this lot was 
excepted. It was also found that a number of Wright's heirs were 
still living in different parts of the country, and it took over a year 
to procure quitclaim deeds from them. 

Considering the hard usage the old capitol has undergone since 
it was built eighty- three years ago, it is still in a fairly good condition. 
With the exception that the lower floor and the battlement had been 
entirely removed and that a portion of one of the sills had to be re- 
newed, the frame work was found to be as solid as on the day it was 
first put in. It is said that the lumber used in the building was brought 
from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, down the Ohio and up the Mississippi 
by steamboat to Galena and hauled by team to the site of the old 

The Belmont Capitol Commission, appointed by Governor Philipp, 
composed of State Chief Engineer John G. D. Mack, Insurance 
Commissioner Piatt Whitman of Madison, and M. P. Rindlaub of 
Platteville, held a meeting at the old capitol on October 17, 1919 and 
took the necessary steps for restoring the building as much as the 
small portion of the appropriation left will permit. 

The building erected for the territorial supreme court is in the 
immediate vicinity and is still in a good state of preservation. It was 
remodeled somewhat and used for many years after the capital was 
changed to Madison as a residence by the late Charles Dunn, who was 
at that time chief justice of Wisconsin. It was in this building that 
the first governor of the state of Wisconsin, Nelson Dewey, was 
married to Miss Kate, daughter of Judge Dunn. 

The present owner of the building has just completed a new 
residence, and unless steps are taken by the stale to procure the old 
building and move it to the lot now occupied by the old capitol, it 
may soon be torn down. It is to be hoped than an appropriation 
may be made to procure title to this building before H 18 too late. 

M. P. RlNDI W ll 

Pfat fertile 



During the three months' period ending January 10, 1920 there 
were sixty-seven additions to the membership roll of the State 
Historical Society. Twelve of this number enrolled as life members, 
as follows: John A. Bardon, Superior; Rev. Theodore A. Boerner, 
Port Washington; John Charles, Denver, Colorado; Benjamin F. 
Faast, Eau Claire ; Howard T. Greene, Genesee Depot ; Dr. Albert J. 
Hodgson, Waukesha; Milton M. Jones, Racine; Major C. Mead, 
Plymouth; John L. Osborn, Lawrence, Kansas; Wilbur A. Sisson, 
Ripon; Morten M. Steensland, Madison; Monroe A. Wertheimer, 

The following fifty-five persons joined as annual members of the 
Society : Rev. Joseph Allard, Arkansaw ; George C. Astle, Baraboo ; 
Dr. A. E. Bachhuber, Mayville; Prof. W. G. Bleyer, Madison; 
Robert K. Boyd, Eau Claire; Harry L. Butler, Madison; Rev. 
Louis B. Colman, Neillsville; Harrison G. Davies, Watertown; 
Charles J. Dexter, Milwaukee; Stephen H. Dooley, Ladysmith; Roy 
Drew, Coloma; Eli E. Fischer, Watertown; Cameron W. Frazier, 
Menomonee Falls ; Max H. Gaebler, Watertown ; William J. Gaynor, 
Waukesha ; Frank L. Gilbert, Madison ; Joseph B. Goldbach, Milwau- 
kee; George E. Haff, Red Granite; Robert W. Haight, Waukesha; 
Rev. Floyd R. Harding, Black River Falls; Rev. John W. Harris, 
Portage; John A. Hazelwood, Madison; Joseph H. Hill, Menasha; 
R. A. Hollister, Oshkosh; Rev. Ivor G. Hyndman, South Milwau- 
kee; James R. Jensen, Janesville; Rev. Henry Johnson, Racine; 
Miss Edith R. Jones, Hancock; Rev. William P. Leek, Fond du 
Lac; Miss Katherine L. McLaughlin, Madison; Roujet D. Marshall, 
Madison; Julius F. Melaas, Stoughton; George F. Peffer, 
Waukesha ; Dr. Francis J. Pope, Racine ; Rev. Robert Pow, De Soto ; 
Edward Premo, Coloma; James F. Prentiss, Watertown; Knut A. 
Rene, Madison ; Prof. H. S. Richards, Madison ; Mrs. R. J. Russell, 
La Crosse ; Mrs. Harriet C. Schultz, Osseo ; Rev. J. Graham Sibson, 
Augusta ; Albert E. Smith, Madison ; James W. Smith, Osseo; DeWitt 
Stanford, Elkhorn; Elbert W. Stridde, Niagara; Nicholas Thauer, 
Watertown; Henry M. Thomas, Racine; E. Arthur Travis, Wauke- 
sha; G. F. William Ungrodt, Medford; Ralph H. Volkman, Ojibwa; 
Miss Jessie E. Warnes, Milwaukee; Prof. Allen B. West, Milton 
Junction; Rev. Arthur D. Willett, Glenwood City; Oscar Wilson, 

The Society and the State 


Figures presented at the annual meeting of the Society in October 
showed that forty life and one hundred sixty-five annual members had 
come into the Society during the year under review. This notable 
increase was chiefly due to the labors of the special membership 
committee directed by Curator J. H. A. Lacher of Waukesha. That 
committee could have accomplished little, however, but for the fine 
response to its appeals and cooperation in its work accorded by 
scores of members of the Society during the preceding year. The 
committee was continued by the board of curators, and in December, 
1919 a renewed drive for new members was opened by it. The results 
to date are shown in the figures and names recorded above. Since 
the renewed membership drive began Mr. Lacher of Waukesha has 
been responsible for adding seven persons to the membership roll, and 
Dr. W. F. Whyte of Madison, five. Mr. W. K. Coffin of Eau Claire, 
R. B. Lang of Racine, J. H. McManus of Coloma, and F. M. Smith of 
Osseo have each turned in two new members. We propose to print 
in the "Survey" from time to time the names of those members of the 
Society who distinguish themselves by their zeal in procuring new 
members. We shall be delighted to hear from any who are desirous of 
displacing Mr. Lacher from his present position of leadership in this 

The death toll of the Society for the quarter just closed numbers 
six of its old-time members. Mr. R. G. Deming, one of our oldest 
members and long a resident of Madison, died at Twin Bluffs, Decem- 
ber 2, 1919. For many years Mr. Deming conducted the North- 
western Business College at Madison, now known as the Capital City 
Commercial College. 

James G. Flanders, for half a century a leading Milwaukee 
lawyer and for fifteen years a member of the Society, died January 1, 
1920. Mr. Flanders was active in politics and a friend and supporter 
of many educational and other community activities. He was for 
many years a member, and for several years president, of the board of 
trustees of the Milwaukee Public Library. 

John E. Morgan of Spring Green, former state assemblyman and 
University regent and for fifteen years a member of the Society, died 
at his home December 30, 1919. Mr. Morgan was a native of Ohio 
but had resided in Wisconsin since 1854. 

Mr. A. E. Proudfit, president of the First National Bank of 
Madison, died from a stroke of apoplexy, December 22, 1919. During 
most of his life Mr. Proudfit had been a resident of Madison, where 
his father had likewise been a leading business man and Cltiien. The 
elder Proudfit was the builder of a large portion of the state capito] 
which preceded the present structure. 


Survey of Historical Activities 

Frank J. Finucane of Antigo died at his home early in December. 
He had long been a leading lawyer of Langlade County and had served 
as city attorney, president of the local library board, and member of 
the board of education. 

John Schuette of Manitowoc, leading business man and five times 
mayor of his home city, died in December after a brief illness. Mr. 
Schuette was a native of Germany ; he came to America in childhood 
and achieved substantial success in the country of his adoption. 

The Proceedings of the Society at its sixty-seventh annual meet- 
ing, held October 23, 1919, was sent to the printer at the beginning of 
the new year. The outstanding feature of the day was the annual 
address before the Society, delivered by Major General William G. 
Haan, commander of the Red Arrow Division in the World War. The 
address was given in the University armory to an audience which filled 
the large room and a special feature of which was a group of three 
hundred Red Arrow veterans who had served with General Haan 
overseas. At the business session of the Society held in the afternoon 
Judge E. Ray Stevens of Madison was elected president for the 
ensuing three-year term. The annual report made by the Superin- 
tendent of the Society for the year ending September 30, 1919 showed 
a greater accession of members and likewise a greater growth of the 
Library than in any previous year of the Society's history. On the 
suggestion of the Superintendent provision was made for an impor- 
tant expansion of the Society's research and publication activities 
through the creation of an editorial division, Mr. Quaife being elected 
to the newly-created office of editor of the Society. The president 
was directed to appoint a committee of five curators to nominate a 
superintendent to succeed the present incumbent. 

Bruce E. Mahan of the University of Iowa spent some days work- 
ing in the Society's newspaper and manuscript collections during 
December. Mr. Mahan is engaged upon a history of Fort Crawford, 
which may eventually appear as one of the publications of the State 
Historical Society of Iowa. 

Willoughby M. Babcock, chief of the museum of the Minnesota 
Historical Society at St. Paul, paid a somewhat extended visit to 
Madison in December for the purpose of studying methods and 
practices in vogue in the Wisconsin Historical Museum. Mr. 
Babcock is the successor of Ruth Roberts who went from the Society's 
museum to take charge of the Minnesota Historical Society's museum 
a year or more ago. More recently Miss Roberts resigned this 
position in order to take up the career of homemaker. 

The Society and the State 


The Society had the pleasure of a visit in the month of December 
from Father Philip Gordon, missionary to the Chippewa Indians in 
northern Wisconsin. Father Gordon was born at the town of Gordon, 
named for his father's family. His mother is a Chippewa and he 
himself is a member of the Bad River band of that nation. His 
Indian name is Ti-bish-ko-ge-zick, which means "looking into the 
sky," an appropriate term for a sky pilot, although he received it 
when a child, before determining his profession. He was named in 
honor of an uncle on his mother's side of the family. His grand- 
father was born at the old La Pointe village on Madeline Island and 
was interpreter for Father, later Bishop, Baraga, the early nineteenth 
century apostle to the Wisconsin Indians. The name was originally 
Gaudin, of French origin, but it has become Anglicized into Gordon. 

Father Gordon passed his boyhood in the woods of northern 
Wisconsin; at the age of thirteen he was sent to St. Paul to be 
educated. Later he studied in Europe at Rome, Innsbruck, and Bonn. 
Now in the prime of life he is devoting himself to the uplifting of his 
people and to helping them to a fuller and richer life. When asked 
if he was interested in the old Indian traditions he replied, "Yes, but 
they must be preserved in books, not in men." Father Gordon makes 
his headquarters at Reserve on Lake Court d'Oreilles ; he officiates 
however at six chapels : one at Reserve ; two on the Lac du Flambeau 
reservation ; one at the mouth of Yellow River, for the St. Croix band ; 
one on Mud Lake in Rusk County ; and one at the Old Post, so-called, 
on the west branch of Chippewa River. This latter place is called by 
the Indians "Pakwaywang," meaning "a widening in the river" ; it is 
about fourteen miles east of Reserve in section thirty-two of township 
forty, range six west. 

Father Gordon ministers to the Court d'Oreilles band, the Lac du 
Flambeau band, and the St. Croix band of Chippewa, the latter of 
whom have no settled homes and many of whom are still pagans. He 
is an ardent advocate of Americanization and of creating in the 
Indians a desire for a better standard of life. Most of the Chippewa 
can read and write, over ninety per cent being literate. In the Court 
d'Oreilles band the oldest full blood is Anakwat (The Cloud), who 
lives at the post. Both he and Gaw-ge-ga-bi of Round Lake are 
much respected because of their age and wisdom. The orator of this 
band is Billy Boy, who lives at Reserve and speaks beautiful Chippewa. 
Father Gordon says there is as much difference between the common 
language of the reservation and that of the orator as there is between 
the slang of our street Arabs and the literary idiom of OUT best 
writers. He says Billy Boy is a master of Chippewa : bis language 
is sonorous and beautiful, full of original te rms and loft y simile. 

Father Gordon thinks prohibition will save the Indian race; 
improvement in manners and morals has hern noticeable since this 


Survey of Historical Activities 

measure became effective. He is very proud of his boys who served 
in the European War, five of whom lost their lives on the battle fields 
of France. He is collecting their letters and reminiscences for the 
Wisconsin War History Commission and promises to write an article 
on "The Chippewa in the World War." 

Recently Father Gordon made a visit to the Potawatomi Indians 
of eastern Wisconsin, who have been so long neglected both by the 
government and by missionary agencies. At Soperton in Forest 
County he met the representatives of this tribe, most of whom are 
still pagan, and discussed plans for a mission. There are about three 
hundred Potawatomi living in Forest and in northern Marinette 
counties, some of whom have recently joined this band from their 
Kansas home. Their only missionary to the present time has been 
the Reverend Erik O. Morstad of the Lutheran missions. The 
government recently acknowledged the claims of the Wisconsin 
Potawatomi to a share in the tribal funds, and it is hoped that they 
may be raised from the conditions of poverty and degradation into 
which they have fallen. Dr. Carlos Montezuma of Chicago accom- 
panied Father Gordon on his visit to the Potawatomi. The former 
is a member of the Society of American Indians and, like the latter, 
an enthusiastic advocate of making the Indians citizens and respon- 
sible for their own development. 

The diamond jubilee of the First Evangelical Church of Racine 
was celebrated with appropriate services November 19-23, 1919. The 
beginning of this church dates back to September, 1844, when an 
Evangelical preacher visited Racine and preached to a small group 
of Evangelicals gathered in a home on the site of the present high 
school building. 

The Catholic Citizen of Milwaukee celebrated its fiftieth anniver- 
sary and the diamond jubilee of the establishment of the diocese and 
archdiocese of Milwaukee by publishing on December 13, 1919 a 
thirty-two page edition with many illustrations. A sixteen-page 
historical section presented numerous articles on the history and 
development of Catholicism in Wisconsin. 

The movement initiated last summer jointly by the Wisconsin 
Archeological and Historical societies and the Milwaukee Museum 
looking to the public preservation of the site of ancient Aztalan gives 
present promise of tangible results in the near future. The Historical 
Landmarks Committee created by the State Historical Society at the 
October, 1919 meeting has undertaken to stir up public sentiment on 
the subject and during the early winter conducted a vigorous cam- 

The Society and the State 


paign, with a view to inducing the local county authorities to take 
action for securing either part or all of the site for the public. 

On October 24, 1919 a celebration and homecoming was held at 
Mount Vernon, Dane County, to mark the seventy-fifth anniversary of 
the founding of the towns of Primrose and Springdale. Both towns 
were first settled in 1844, and since the village of Mount Vernon lies 
on the boundary line between them, it was decided to hold the joint 
celebration there. Some years ago Honorable John S. Donald, a 
native of Springdale, secured for the place Washington and Lincoln 
elms. For the recent celebration he provided a General Pershing tree, 
which he had brought from France. The homecoming proved an 
interesting and enjoyable occasion to all who attended. Credit for 
arranging the event and carrying out the program is due Albert 0. 
Barton and John S. Donald of Madison. 

In erecting a statue to Brigadier General Erastus B. Wolcott 
Milwaukee does honor to one of Wisconsin's worthy pioneer citizens. 
Born in New York in 1804, General Wolcott studied medicine and in 
1836 became a surgeon in the regular army. In 1839 he resigned and 
settled in Milwaukee where he continued to reside until his death in 
1880. Appointed a surgeon in the territorial militia in 1842, he rose 
by successive steps to the rank of major general and during the Civil 
War and for many years thereafter held the important office of 
surgeon-general of the state. He held also, at different times, numer- 
ous other positions of public trust, among them regent of the state 
university and vice president of the State Historical Society. The 
statue to General Wolcott was placed in Lake Park in November, 
1919. Formal unveiling exercises will be held in the spring of 1920. 

Edwin O. Kimberley, a soldier of the Civil War and long a 
resident of Janesville, died at Madison, December 24, 1919. Mr. 
Kimberley was a good friend of the State Historical Society and twice 
in recent months bestowed important gifts of historical material upon 
it. His gift of the unique collection of the "blizzard" press of Dakol ■ 
is described in the March, 1919 issue of this magazine, pp. 881-89. 
In the same issue (p. 370) is an account of the presentation of an 
important collection of Civil War letters, while a few in out lis earlier 
Mr. Kimberley presented to the Society an interesting group of 
pictures of members of the famous military band of which he WM the 
leader. If all citizens of Wisconsin were as mindful of the interests of 
their Historical Library as Mr. Kimberley was, its collections would 
soon increase to manyfold their present size and value. 


Survey of Historical Activities 

On October 23, 1919 the one-hundredth birthday anniversary of 
Mrs. Philetta Bean was charmingly observed at the Wisconsin 
Veterans' Home at Waupaca. Letters of congratulation were read 
from Secretary Tumulty, General Pershing, ex-Governors Upham 
and Scofield, Governor Philipp, Senator Lenroot, Judge Winslow, 
General King, and others. A native of New York, Mrs. Bean came 
with her husband to Wisconsin in 1843. They located at Stevens 
Point when it was an obscure lumbering village, and most of Mrs. 
Bean's life has been passed in this immediate vicinity. Two of her 
sons were soldiers in the Fifth Wisconsin Infantry during the Civil 

Carl Quickert, whose plan for bringing out a history of Washing- 
ton County was noted in a former issue of the magazine, writes under 
date of December 17, 1919 that lack of space has prevented publish- 
ing the history in his paper, the West Bend 'News. Accordingly 
estimates are being awaited on the cost of printing the work as a 
separate volume, the manuscript being now ready for the printer. 
Mr. Quickert concludes : "I shall, of course, remember the Historical 
Society with a copy of the work as soon as it comes out." 

What role Wisconsin's German-born or German-descended citizens 
would play in the World War upon which the United States embarked 
in the spring of 1917 was for some time a matter of anxious specula- 
tion on the part of many citizens and at least some officials of the 
United States. Now, less than three years later, the effective answer 
these same Wisconsin German- Americans made to the query finds 
graphic illustration in an attractive volume from the Press Publish- 
ing Company of Sheboygan entitled Co. C, 127 Infantry, in the World 
War. For the information of the world beyond Wisconsin's borders 
we note that Sheboygan is one of Wisconsin's lake-shore German 
counties and Company C was the national guard company of Sheboy- 
gan City; further, that its captain bore the Teutonic name of 
"Schmidt"; and that scattered over its muster roll are such names 
as Jerzewski, Bauer, Berndt, Bluemke, Bunge, Chieffo, Chudobba, 
Demopoulos, Engelhardt, Knauf, etc. What these sons of Wisconsin 
and their associates did to the followers of the German eagle on the 
battle fields of France is thrillingly recorded in the company history 
before us, the material, aside from official data, being furnished by 
Captain Schmidt. What the German soldiers did to Company C is in 
part tragically revealed by the long necrology roll near the close of 
the volume. The fine record of achievement which Sheboygan's 
favorite company made in the war is fittingly preserved in this volume. 

The Society arid the State 


The civilization of the Indian, for which leaders like Father 
Gordon and Carlos Montezuma are striving, goes on apace. An 
interesting bit of local evidence to this effect may be found in a tomb- 
stone inscription in the cemetery on the Oneida reservation near 
Green Bay. It is as follows : 

Nancy Skenandore. Born at Oneida, June 13, 1861. 

Graduated from the Hartford, Connecticut Training 
School for nurses in 1890. Practiced her profession in 
Connecticut and as superintendent of the Oneida Indian 
Mission Hospital until 1906. 

Died September 2, 1908. 

This memorial erected by the Connecticut Indian 
Association, 1914. 
In the Oneida church entrance is a bronze tablet which states that 
she was the first Indian trained nurse in the United States. 


Captain Joe Buisson was a native son of the Northwest, an ardent 
lover of the Mississippi River, on whose upper waters he was born at 
Wabasha, Minnesota, in 1846. His father was a fur trader who came 
from Canada as an employee of Joseph Rolette of Prairie du Chien 
and married a daughter of Duncan Graham, the well-known Scotch 
trader of the upper Mississippi and the Minnesota rivers. The 
younger Buisson became a Mississippi pilot and steamboat master. 
In his later life he collected material for a sketch of rafting and 
steamboating on the upper river but died before he had made much 
progress in his project. His papers have recently come into posses- 
sion of the Historical Society by purchase through the kind agencv 
of Captain Fred A. Bill of St. Paul. 

In point of age and of historical value the collection secured by 
Captain Buisson from Alexis Bailly of Wabasha is the most interest- 
ing portion of these papers. Bailly was born on the island of 
Mackinac, where his father was a prominent fur trader. Ho w is w el] 
educated in eastern schools and upon his return to Mackinac was 
rated as a youth of great promise. He soon entered the employ of 
the American Fur Company and was sent to Prairie du Chien, There 
his first upper river voyage was made in 1821 in company with 
Duncan Graham, to carry supplies to the Red River settlement 
Afterwards Bailly was for several years at the mouth of the Minm 
sota, then called St. Peters, River, where he traded with Indiana for 
both the American and the Columbian Fur companies. While at this 
place he married Lucy Faribault, whose mother was, like Captain 
Buisson's, a daughter of Duncan Graham. Bailly in 1884 built I 
home at Prairie du Chien; about ten years Later be removed t<> 


Survey of Historical Activities 

Wabasha where he passed the remainder of his life, dying there 
June 3, 1861. His papers cover the period of his fur trading enter- 
prises from 1821 to 1850. They consist of about one hundred and 
forty pieces, a typical fur trader's collection. The first paper is a 
bill of goods dated November 19, 1821 at Pembina, indicating about 
the time when Duncan Graham's caravan arrived in the Red River 
settlement. In 1825 Bailly's partnership with James H. Lockwood, 
the well-known Prairie du Chien pioneer, was dissolved, a notice of 
dissolution being herein contained. Letters follow from Joseph 
Rolette, one of especial interest on the famous Indian treaty of 
Prairie du Chien in 1825. In 1827 letters appear from Mackenzie of 
the Columbian Fur Company ; in 1833 Bailly was in partnership with 
the noted Minnesota pioneer Joseph Brown. The letters of this 
second period, 1833-40, are of especial value. During that time a 
Winnebago treaty was negotiated at Washington, and commissioners 
were sent to the Prairie to investigate tribal conditions. The whole 
affair was a notorious swindle and as such was investigated and the 
commissioners' findings were disallowed by the government. Some 
letters in the Bailly papers give additional information concerning 
this affair and the connection therewith of Samuel C. Stambaugh, a 
former agent at Green Bay. Light is also thrown on fur trade 
methods of the period. One letter from Hercules L. Dousman in 
1835 reports that a hatter was coming to the Prairie from Kentucky 
to buy skins, and it is conjectured that he would pay a better price 
for them than could be obtained in New York. 

The later Bailly papers throw side lights on the steamboat traffic 
of the forties; bills of goods, consignments, etc., for the different 
outfits show how dependent the traders were on the steamboats. In 
1848 Bailly was operating on Chippewa River where George Warren 
was his agent. 

The remaining portion of the Buisson papers consists of the 
material gathered between 1891 and 1914 for the history of steam- 
boating. It is of a miscellaneous character, containing among other 
things Buisson's recollections of the life of his grandfather Duncan 
Graham, some notes on the early life of Ramsey Crooks, and Indian 
biographies of prominent Sioux. Indian place names on the river, 
the early history of the St. Croix region, lists of steamboats, and 
names of pilots from 1823 to 1907 are included. Captain Buisson 
also made a list of early sawmills on the upper river. A typical 
sketch is that of Joe Perro (Perreault) from Kaskaskia, who became 
a rafting pilot from the St. Croix region. It is asserted that he some- 
times cleared $6,000 in two trips from the St. Croix to St. Louis. 
There are also many letters from the descendants of early steamboat 
captains and pilots with details of their lives, interesting stories of 

The Wider Field 


steamboating days, and the diary of a river trip in 1904. Included 
in the collection are photographs both of the steamboats and of their 
pilots, the whole illustrating the transition from fur trade days to 
those of the heyday of the lumber and freight traffic on the upper 
waters of the mighty Mississippi. 


M. M. Quaife ("An Experiment of the Fathers in State 
Socialism") is superintendent of the Society and editor of its 

Dr. William Browning ("The Early History of Jonathan 
Carver") of Brooklyn, New York, is professor of neurology in the 
Long Island Medical College. He is one of the country's eminent 
specialists in his chosen field of work and has served as president of 
the American Association of Medical Librarians. His special interest 
in Carver grew out of a general study of physicians, who had dis- 
tinguished themselves as explorers, published recently in the New 
York Medical Record. 

John C. Reeve ("A Physician in Pioneer Wisconsin") is a 
physician of Dayton, Ohio, now in his ninety-fourth year. A self- 
made man, Dr. Reeve has risen to eminence in his profession. He has 
served as president of the Ohio State Medical Society and has been 
honored by Western Reserve University with the degree of LL.D. 
"for literary contributions to medicine." 

Louise P. Kellogg ("The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848") is 
senior research associate on the staff of the State Historical Society 
of Wisconsin. 

W. A. Titus ("Historic Spots in Wisconsin: II. The Fond du 
Lac Trading Post and Early Settlement") presents in this issue of 
the magazine the second in his series of articles under the general 
title noted. Mr. Titus is a resident of Fond du Lac who makes a 
hobby of archeology and local history. 


On December 10 and 11, 1919 an Indiana History Conference was 
held at the state capitol. Three principal programs were held, the 
dominant themes being: the importance of state history and how to 
interest people in it; the study and teaching of state history; and 
local history. The details of these programs evidence i most praise 


Survey of Historical Activities 

worthy method of bringing about a general cooperation both of 
official agencies and of individuals to the end of cultivating the 
history of Indiana and making it of real service to the commonwealth 
and its citizens. Our readers will be interested to note that Dr. John 
W. Oliver, formerly a member of the research staff of this Society, is 
director of the Indiana Historical Commission and delivered a talk at 
the recent conference on "Cooperation among Historical Agencies." 

Frank R. Grover, an enthusiastic student of local history, died 
at his home in Evanston, Illinois, December 10, 1919. Mr. Grover 
was vice president of the Evanston Historical Society from its 
founding in 1898 until January, 1917 ; from the latter date until his 
death he served as president of the society. Mr. Grover found time 
in the midst of his law practice to write a number of historical articles. 
These include a history of Les Chenaux Islands, "Our Indian 
Predecessors, the First Evanstonians," "Father Pinet and his Mis- 
sion of the Guardian Angel," "Antoine Ouilmette," and "Some Indian 
Landmarks of the North Shore." So diligent a worker in the local 
historical field can ill be spared by the Evanston Historical Society. 


Illinois was admitted to the sisterhood of states in 1818 and in 
less than a century had become third among the commonwealths of 
the Union from the viewpoints of wealth and population and perhaps 
the equal of any from that of general culture and of development in 
the arts of civilization. Fitting was it, therefore, for the state 
legislature to authorize the preparation, under public auspices and at 
public cost, for the gratification of residents of the state and the 
enlightenment of the world in general, of a centennial history of the 
commonwealth. To all who are interested in the progress of historical 
knowledge it is cause for genuine congratulation that Illinois, among 
other progressive activities, maintains a state historical survey, 
manned by competent scholars, chosen with particular reference to 
their qualifications for the work in hand. To this group of trained 
workers, therefore, under the general direction of the Illinois Cen- 
tennial Commission, the preparation of the history was entrusted. 
By them a six-volume work was planned, one volume to afford an 
introductory survey of Illinois at the time of admission to statehood, 
and the other five to comprise a comprehensive history of the state 
from the beginning of white knowledge of the region to the present 
time. Such a thorough-going history of a single American common- 
wealth, produced under such auspices and by such professionally com- 
petent direction, has never elsewhere to our knowledge been planned or 
carried out. To its production a large amount of money and the 

The Wider Field 


labor of several years have been devoted. The significance of the 
enterprise, particularly from the viewpoint of its influence upon the 
further public support and conduct of historical work in the states of 
the Middle West, cannot fail to be great. This magazine has hitherto 
refrained from comment upon the enterprise because of a desire to 
have the completed work at hand before venturing upon a discussion 
of its several parts. But from a number of causes — the prolonged 
absence, through ill health, of the general editor, Professor Alvord, 
the removal of certain of the workers to other fields of activity, the 
exigencies of the Great War (one of the authors laid down his 
manuscript, uncompleted, to lend a helping hand in the battles of 
America fought on the soil of France), most of all, perhaps, to the 
magnitude and laboriousness of the work undertaken — the centennial 
year has come and gone and at the close of 1919 three of the six 
volumes have still to come from the printer. We have concluded, 
therefore, to present at this time some estimate of the three volumes 
which are already before the public. The reviews which follow are 
all by members of the research staff of the State Historical Library. 
They have been written, however, at different times, over a period of a 
year or more, and with a view to publication in different historical 
periodicals. This circumstance will sufficiently explain any lack of 
collaboration as between the several reviewers which may be in evi- 
dence. For permission to reprint the first and second reviews 
acknowledgments are due to the courtesy respectively of the editors 
of the Mississippi Valley Historical Review and the American 
Historical Review. 

Illinois in 1818. By Solon Justus Buck. [Centennial History of 
Illinois, introductory volume] (Springfield: Illinois Centen- 
nial Commission, 1917. 362 p.) 
With praiseworthy foresight on the part of those concerned 
active preparations for the suitable celebration in 1918 of the cen- 
tennial of statehood for Illinois were begun several years ago. An 
important and commendable part of the preparation for the pro- 
jected observance of the centennial was the preparation, under the 
editorial supervision of Clarence W. Alvord, of a comprehensive his- 
tory of Illinois from the earliest times to the present. The historj 
thus projected is to extend to five volumes, each devoted to the 
exposition of a suitable section of the entire period covered Pre- 
liminary to this enterprise, yet logically a part of it, is the issuance 
of the volume under review, the specific function of which i-< t«> make 
clear to the reader of 1918 what were the seve ral component elements 
entering into the Illinois of 1818. Although the volume appears 
under the auspices of the Illinois Centennial Commission the MOM 


Survey of Historical Activities 

group of men who control the publications of the Illinois historical 
library are responsible for the present enterprise, and to them is due 
criticism of it, whether laudatory or the reverse in character. 

For the conception of this thoroughgoing historical undertaking 
in the interests of the state of Illinois, only a commensurate degree 
of admiration can be entertained. Except for the preliminary vol- 
ume, the manner of its execution still remains to be revealed. My 
present task is to evaluate, as correctly as may be, Illinois in 1818. 
That unqualified commendation cannot be accorded the work is cause 
for genuine regret ; that a useful and dignified volume has been added 
to the lengthening list of mid-western local histories it is a pleasure 
to record. 

Physically considered, the book is well bound and presents an 
attractive exterior appearance. Within the covers, however, the 
characteristic workmanship of the public printer is sufficiently evi- 
dent. Thus, the pagination is carried on the title-page of the volume 
as well as elsewhere, a matter of trivial importance in itself but 
indicative of an attitude on the part of printers of public documents 
with which the reviewer, unfortunately, is all too familiar. The 
numerous illustrations in the book are for the most part clearly exe- 
cuted ; but if any principle governed their selection and arrangement, 
a careful perusal of the volume has failed to disclose it. At page 138 
occur views of a log tavern and of the ruins of Fort de Chartres; 
the chapter is entitled "The Economic Situation." Facing page 80 
are pictures of Gurdon S. Hubbard and Alexander Wolcott. Wolcott 
was Indian agent at Chicago for a dozen years beginning in 1818, 
but his name nowhere occurs in the history, and there is no discover- 
able reason for presenting his picture. Hubbard is several times 
mentioned in the first chapter, but almost fifty pages intervene be- 
tween its. close and the presenting of his portrait. Other similar 
examples might be cited. Accompanying the chapter on "The Public 
Lands" are views of a trapper, a flatboat, a keel boat, etc., while 
a full page view of "a land grant" occurs in the chapter on "The 
Convention Campaign," separated by over half the volume from the 
chapter to which it seems logically to pertain. The view of Chicago 
in 1820 should be credited to Mrs. Kinzie's well-known volume, 
Wau Bun, from which it is in fact taken. 

It is proper to add in this connection that the author is not 
responsible for the illustrations or for much else that pertains to the 
volume. Because of Mr. Buck's removal to Minnesota, nearly three 
years ago, the completion of this work begun by him while at the 
University of Illinois was subject to numerous difficulties. The effect 
of these was heightened, doubtless, by the long illness of Mr. Alvord, 
the editor-in-chief of the centennial history. These facts taken to- 

The Wider Field 


gether fairly account, perhaps, for the one general criticism which 
the reviewer has to submit ; while a thoroughly creditable volume, it 
does not realize the advance expectations which the work alike of 
the editor of the series and of the author of the volume fairly justify 
the historically-minded public in entertaining. That this judgment 
will be acquiesced in by the author may be inferred from his state- 
ments in the preface; it is stated here merely for the benefit of those 
who have not seen or examined the volume. 

The three hundred sixty-two pages of the book comprise eleven 
chapters, besides an appendix, index, and bibliography. The first 
six chapters are primarily descriptive ; the remaining ones are narra- 
tive in character. Chapter I, "The Indians and the Fur Trade," 
contains a useful account of these subjects which played so impor- 
tant a role in the Illinois of 1818. Here, as usually throughout the 
volume, the dominant note is economic, in marked contrast to the 
line of interest displayed by such writers as the late Dr. Thwaites. 
As compared with the latter's characteristic work the present narra- 
tive may be equally useful but it is certainly far less inspiring to 
the reader. 

Chapter II deals with "The Public Lands"; chapter III with 
"Extent of Settlement" in 1818. Useful maps compiled by the 
author occur in connection with each. Chapters on the pioneers 
and on economic, social, and political conditions follow in due order. 
The latter chapter furnishes the transition from the descriptive to 
the narrative portion of the book. The latter chiefly recounts the 
political conditions and developments centering around the trans- 
formation of the territory of Illinois into a sovereign state of the 

No effort has been made to check or correct the author in matters 
of opinion ; a few errors of precise detail have been noted, but since 
a second edition of the book is improbable, no attempt has been made 
to list them. The bibliography presented is uncritical and it does 
not assume to be exhaustive. The style of footnote reference accords 
well with the general conception of the volume as intended to be 
scholarly in character yet designed primarily for popular reading. 
The index seems to be well constructed and reasonably exhaustive, 

M. M. Qr.wFF. 

The Frontier State, 1818-1848. By Theodore Calvin Pease. | Cen- 
tennial History of Illinois, Vol. II.] (Springfield: Dlinoifl 
Centennial Commission, 1918. 457 p.) 
The second volume of the Centennial History of Illinois leries 
is in more than one respect a notable book. Appearing oui of or.l. r 
before the first volume has been published, it revealfl the ICOpe and 


Survey of Historical Activities 

plan of a cooperative enterprise so well conceived and thus far so 
well executed as to indicate that the study of western history has 
passed well beyond the backwoodsman stage. Following the pioneer 
who first blazed a trail through the trackless maze of unassorted 
source-material for the history of the West, there are now groups 
of trained historians sharing a common viewpoint, conforming to 
the same high standards of scholarly technique, working together in 
close personal touch with each other in a spirit of cordial and sym- 
pathetic cooperation. Such is the group of historians who have 
undertaken the task of relating the events of a century in the state 
of Illinois. 

The plan of the series is distinctly cooperative, an individual 
author being in the main responsible for each of the five volumes. 
The preface to the second volume, written "somewhere in France," 
reveals the extent of the author's indebtedness to the general editor, 
to members of the Centennial Commission, and to an assistant com- 
petent to supply two entire chapters without marring the unity of 
the whole. The result is a book which might very properly be 
entitled A Full-Length Portrait of a Frontier State. 

In the drawing of the outlines the perspective remains admirable 
throughout. Although some tediousness of detail in recounting fac- 
tional controversies of local politics or the bizarre experiments of 
frontier finance could not always be avoided, the author nowhere 
loses his perception of the vital relation between state politics and 
the larger aspects of national affairs. Not only for an appreciation 
of frontier problems and conditions but for a sympathetic under- 
standing of the Jacksonian period as well, it may be doubted whether 
the history of any state, unless perhaps that of its western neighbor, 
Missouri, would prove so instructive as the history of Illinois. Situ- 
ated at the crossroads between the East and the West, between the 
North and the South, and having within its own boundaries both a 
north and a south, the state was of necessity deeply affected by 
national policies of finance and tariff, the counter-currents of the 
slavery issue, and of those social, racial, and religious forces that 
have at times exerted so decisive an influence upon local and national 
development. Each of these topics is discussed in order, the arrange- 
ment of the chapters being logical and consistent without arbitrarily 
separating movements which could only be adequately presented in 
relation to each other. Thus portrayed, the history of an individual 
state, while still retaining its distinctive local character, sheds new 
light upon many phases of national progress which have not as yet 
been fully apprehended. 

Throughout the book and especially in the admirable first chap- 
ter the author manifests that true appreciation of frontier complexi- 

The Wider Field 


ties which can be attained only through the laborious process of 
absorbing and digesting enormous masses of intricate and minute 
detail. The one serious defect in the make-up of the book is the 
lack of a satisfactory map showing roads, trails, rivers, and towns 
upon which the reader might trace schemes of internal improvements 
in which the state was interested. An unfortunate misprint on the 
population map of 1840 reverses the legend, making the map read 
as if the most densely settled area were that having the lowest per- 
centage of population. A welcome addition in forthcoming volumes 
would be an appendix showing the representation of the state in 
Congress and the term of office of its governors. 

Martha L. Edwards 

The Era of the Civil War, 1848-1870. By Arthur Charles Cole. 
[Centennial History of Illinois, Vol. III.] (Springfield: 
Illinois Centennial Commission, 1919. 499 p.) 

Although the author announces in the preface to this volume 
that his theme is the transition of Illinois from a frontier community 
to a modern commonwealth, none the less his method of treatment 
throws into high relief the four years of the Civil War and makes 
that event the pivot of his period. Both politically and industrially 
he discusses Illinois before and after the war, in separate chapters 
placed at some distance apart. For example, the agricultural con- 
ditions before the war are considered in chapter three, "Prairie 
Farming and Banking"; while chapter seventeen discusses "Agricul- 
ture and the War." The railroad problems of the fifties are divorced 
from those of the sixties. "Church and School 1850-1860" occupies 
chapter ten; "Religion, Morality, and Education, 1860-1870," chap- 
ter twenty, near the end of the volume. By this method of treatment 
continuity is lost and the process of the transition from a frontier to 
a modern state somewhat obscured. This choice of method is in some 
measure justified by the immense importance of the Civil War in the 
history of the Prairie State. The war did actually bisect the epoch 
Mr. Cole describes; it did condition not only political but economic 
progress to such a degree as to merit the "before" and "after" met hod 
of treatment. More, perhaps, than that of the neighboring Btatefl 
was the history of Illinois involved in the course of flic Civil War. It 
was the election of "the man from Illinois" that precipitated the 
war; it was the generalship of the military leader from Illinois thai 
ended its fighting. The fortunes of the state were irret ricvahl v bound 
up in its prosecution. 

Illinois was also during the period treated in this volume in its 
divided opinions and sectional antagonisms an epitome of tin- nation. 
Southern Illinois was practically a border state, and the "democracy 


Survey of Historical Activities 

of Egypt" so abhorred the "black republicanism" of the northern 
counties that secession of the lower section was everywhere discussed. 
Some of the most brilliant pages of this book describe how the 
southern counties swung into line for the Union when the acid test of 
recruiting for the Northern army occurred. They even exceeded 
in their chivalric zeal the quota assigned to them and furnished more 
than their share of fighting men. In that prewar sectional strife the 
central counties of Illinois held the balance; from their midst came 
Lincoln, the man of the hour. Neither in the extreme north nor in 
the extreme south of his state was he thoroughly understood or 
unwaveringly supported. Indeed, in the darkest hours before his 
second nominaion it was military victory rather than political 
enthusiasm that even in his home state turned the tide in the President's 
favor. It is significant also that the convention which nominated 
McClellan for the presidency in 1864 was held at Chicago, the scene 
of Lincoln's triumph four years before. All the political activity 
that led up to the declaration of the war, that carried it to a victory 
for the North, and that followed as an aftermath of war conditions 
Mr. Cole has portrayed with no unskillful hand. He has moreover 
produced not merely a history of a single state or that of a divided 
community in a death grapple with tremendous forces within itself; 
he has given us a portion of the nation's history so intertwined with 
that of the state that the telling of one involves that of the other. 
The appearance of this volume, with that of the others in the Cen- 
tennial series, marks a new departure in state histories. We have in 
them not only the history of a state apart from other states, but of 
a state within the nation, working out its own peculiar destiny, while 
contributing at the same time to the progress of the federal republic. 

In accordance with modern canons Mr. Cole relies very largely 
upon contemporary newspaper sources. These he supplements by 
letters from private collections, some of them now first brought to 
light to aid in the writing of this book. His pages are a mosaic of 
citations from the local press, skillfully matched, although at times 
it is difficult to know where the author begins or the editors stop. 
The author's own style is clear and simple ; frequently the impetus of 
the narrative carries him along with it ; his wealth of material compels 
him. Statistics are so woven into the body of the narrative that they 
illuminate the subj ect rather than appall the reader. Upon the whole 
the narrative is readable and brings back the flavor of public opinion 
of sixty and seventy years ago. 

In his handling of political forces and cross currents the author's 
touch is more sure than in his treatment of economic and cultural 
movements. The studies of these latter subjects do not compare for 
thoroughness with those in the kindred work of Frederick Merk in his 

The Wider Field 


Economic History of Wisconsin during the Civil War Decade. We 
are inclined to think that Mr. Cole has not grasped the full importance 
of Illinois' railway history. There is no more significant feature of 
his volume than the map opposite page 34 showing the increase of 
railroads in the decade between 1850 and 1860. Had the war begun 
in 1850, as the contest over the compromise of that year threatened, 
the commercial allegiance of the Northwestern states would have been 
with the Southwest. The Illinois cross-line railroads changed all 
this and made possible in 1861 the solidarity of the North. These 
facts Mr. Cole nowhere connects with the political situation. His 
discussion of the movements of population is excellent and gives some 
especially pertinent material, such for example as the westward 
emigration from Illinois during the fifties and the filling in of the 
farms in the central and southern parts of the state by the New 
England element. Another interesting phase of this subject is the 
movement during the war years into Illinois from the South. "Cairo," 
our author says, "was the Ellis Island for this immigration," made 
up of Unionists and refugee whites from the secession portions of 
the border states, also of free blacks and later of freedmen which 
helped to give Illinois her large colored population. Meanwhile the 
earlier Illinoisians had generously welcomed the refugee whites, who 
quickly assimilated to the mass of the population and in a measure 
replaced the Southern element drained away in the decade of the 

The most severe test which Mr. Cole had to meet was his presenta- 
tion of the well-worn problems of the political power of Douglas, the 
rise and election of Lincoln, and the origins of the Republican party. 
With regard to the first of these we get some new light upon Douglas' 
responsibility for the repeal of the Missouri Compromise from the 
attitude of the senator's newspaper organ at Springfield. Mr. Cole 
believes that the Illinois senator was actuated by "a spirit of 
opportunism" and brands him as deliberately conscious of the effect 
of his action on the Missouri Compromise, which he had described in 
1849 "as a sacred thing, which no ruthless hand would ever be reckless 
enough to disturb." 

In describing the rise of the Republican party Mr. Cole gives 
credit to the early movements in Wisconsin and Michigan thai 
influenced the first "republican" mass meetings in Illinois. He shon - 
that Lincoln was at first lukewarm toward the new party, fearing it 
was too strongly abolitionist; that he clung to "obsolete Whig 
traditions"; and that it was not until 1855 thai he formally allied 
himself with the Republicans. 

Concerning the Lincoln-Douglas debate s Air. Cole has little new 
to offer. Perhaps he stresses a point when he says thai Doughu 


Survey of Historical Activities 

"reluctantly" accepted the challenge of his competitor. Nor was it 
quite true that Lincoln had "no opportunity" to reply to the Freeport 
doctrine at the time of its promulgation, since he closed the debate 
with a thirty-minute talk. It is probably a printer's error on page 
180 that makes the vote for Lincoln in the Illinois senate forty-one in 
place of the actual forty-six. 

On the nomination and election of Lincoln to the presidency in 
1860 Mr. Cole's careful study of newspaper sources sheds some 
interesting light. After detailing the well-known events of the 
Chicago convention, Mr. Cole declares that "the gay holiday atmos- 
phere of the canvass makes it stand out as one of the most picturesque 
of presidential elections" — a startling statement to those who con- 
sider it in the light of its tragic denouement. 

Over the actual military operations of Illinois troops during the 
war Mr. Cole passes briefly ; he expresses state pride in the size of the 
quotas and in the fact that they were large enough to avoid, in great 
measure, the draft in the President's home state. The extent of the 
disaffection and of copperheadism in Illinois is fearlessly revealed. 
The plot of election day, 1864, to free the Confederate prisoners at 
Camp Douglas and to begin an uprising is described, but not that 
planned and thwarted the preceding August during the Democratic 
convention at Chicago. Wisconsin may have a just pride in the action 
of one of her sons, Colonel Benjamin J. Sweet, who as federal officer 
in charge of Camp Douglas thwarted both plots by prompt vigilance. 

In portraying personalities Mr. Cole is less able than in estimating 
forces and tendencies. The great figures on his canvas — those of 
Lincoln and Douglas— he wisely leaves to the reader's previous 
knowledge. The men of lesser import, however, who throng the 
picture, he might well have made more real by brief sketches of their 
careers. As it is their outlines are vague and shadowy ; even United 
States senators and governors seem incidental and transitory. 

The book includes a comprehensive bibliography, an adequate 
index, and good maps illustrating the several political campaigns, the 
foreign-born population, and the density of the population on the eve 
of the war. It seems to the reviewer that the volume fulfills the 
promise made to the people of Illinois by the Centennial Commission 
and justifies the production of state histories by trained historical 
scholars, fostered by state action. 

Louise Phelps Kellogg 

VOL. Ill, NO. 4 

JUNE, 1920 




tendent, MILO M. QUAIFE, Editor 



The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848 

Louise Phelps Kellogg 397 

Another View of the Kensington Rune Stone . . . 

Rasmus B. Anderson 413 

Early Life in Southern Wisconsin 

David F. Sayre 420 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin W. A. Titus 428 

The Career of Edward F. Lewis. 

Franklin F. Lewis 434 

Documents : 

A Journal of Life in Wisconsin One Hundred 
Years Ago: Kept by Willard Keyes of Newfane, 
Vermont 443 

The Question Box: 

The History of Florence County; Beriah Brown; 
The Knapp-Stout & Co. Lumber Company; Cos- 
tumes Three Generations Ago; History of Fort 
Mackinac; Sioux War of 1862 at Superior 466 

Communications : 

The Kensington Rune Stone; Birthplace of the 
Binglings; Captain Marryat's Tour 478 

Survey of Historical Activities: 

The Society and the State ; Some Wisconsin Public 
Documents: The Wider Field 481 

The Society as a body is not responsible for statements or opinions advanced 
in the following pages by contributors. 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

Political action in early Wisconsin centered around the - 
choice of the Congressional delegate, the one office connecting 
the territory with the federal government. George Wallace 
Jones, the first delegate, was elected from that portion of 
the territory of Michigan west of Lake Michigan when it was 
apparent that its admission as a state was near at hand. He 
took his seat as Michigan's delegate; upon its admission as 
a state, Jones continued to represent Wisconsin until the 
expiration of his term in 1838. His stand for reelection pre- 
cipitated the first canvass in the new territory. Jones's record 
was good and he was immensely popular in the mining district 
of the southwest. He had, however, been a second in the 
famous Graves-Cilley duel, an action which awoke conscien- 
tious scruples in the minds of the New England element of 
the territory's population. Taking advantage of this senti- 
ment, the friends of James D. Doty in August, 1838 called 
a convention at Madison and put him in nomination for the 
office, to which after an exciting canvass he was elected. Doty 
had to stand again for election in 1839; this time two conven- 
tions, both calling themselves Democratic, met at Madison in 
June. At one of these Byron Kilbourn was nominated; at 
the other, Doty, who was in September following reelected 
for the term of two years. 

Thus far all parties had called themselves Democratic, 
and the national alignment had not affected the territory. 
Such divisions as existed were sectional and personal rather 
than political. In 1840, however, Wisconsin, although with- 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

out the presidential vote, was much influenced by the national 
campaign. As a result of Harrison's triumph the first Whig 
convention was held in January, 1841 at Milwaukee. It was 
expected that all the appointive offices in the territory would 
become the spoils of the victorious party; the Whigs, who 
were in a minority in the territory, now became an organized 
party ; Doty, who had previously called himself a Democrat, 
allied himself actively with the Harrison machine. During 
the campaign he published at New York the Voice of an 
Injured Territory, in which, imitating the phraseology of the 
Declaration of Independence, Van Buren's policy and ap- 
pointees in "Wiskonsan" (as Doty always termed the terri- 
tory) were vigorously arraigned. This pamphlet was received 
with jeers of amusement among the people who were sup- 
posed to be "injured" ; Doty's claim upon the administration, 
however, was acknowledged by his appointment as governor 
to succeed Henry Dodge, the Black Hawk War veteran. 
The ntire official personnel, except the life-term judges, was 
changed. This overturn alienated the major portion of the 
territorial voters. A close Democratic organization was 
effected, which in convention at Madison, July 19, 1841, 
nominated the deposed Dodge for territorial delegate. The 
Whigs put up Jonathan Arnold, an able Milwaukee lawyer, 
but Dodge's popularity stood the test and he was trium- 
phantly elected to Congress. 

Meanwhile Governor Doty was coldly received by the 
majority of Wisconsin people. His administration was 
marked by constant dissensions with the legislature, which in 
the second year of his administration nearly unanimously de- 
manded his removal. His quarrel with the legislature was, in 
great part, due to attempts to avoid investigation into his 
connection with the building of the first capitol. By this effort 
and by arbitrary appointments and acts of nepotism and 
favoritism he exasperated and embittered the entire three 
years of his administration. 

The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848 


Notwithstanding his great unpopularity and the serious 
charges of corruption urged against him, Doty was not re- 
moved from his office by the federal government. In 1843, 
while the feeling against Doty was at its height, Dodge was 
a candidate for reelection to the delegacy; he swept the whole 
territory, defeating the Whig nominee, George H. Hickcox, 
by a great majority. Although the popular will was clearly 
expressed in this election, President Tyler, upon the expira- 
tion of Doty's term in September, 1844, appointed in his . 
stead Nathaniel P. Tallmadge, United States senator from 
New York. Tallmadge was one of the best known political 
characters of the United States and had narrowly escaped 
becoming president. Having broken with Van Buren on the 
subtreasury measure, Tallmadge was offered the nomination 
for vice president on the ticket with Harrison but preferred 
to remain in the Senate as chairman of the committee on for- 
eign relations. It was rumored that he had also been off ered 
a cabinet position and a foreign mission and had declined 
both. Tallmadge made the acquaintance of Doty while the 
latter was Wisconsin's delegate and lured by his perfervid 
description of Wisconsin Territory came West and bought 
a large estate at Taycheedah, whither he proposed to remove 
his residence. Since his senatorial term expired with the 
Twenty-eighth Congress, he accepted the president's nomina- 
tion as governor for the territory and arrived at Milwaukee 
the last of August, 1844. As the friend and nominee of the 
Doty party and as a stranger in the West Tallmadge was 
not received with great cordiality; his first message to the 
legislature as well as his past political record was the subject 
of much acrimonious comment. The message, however, in its 
recommendations for internal improvements and transporta- 
tion facilities was a statesmanlike document, and the new 
governor's determination to take no partisan position Oil pari 
conflicts soon cooled the heat of the Opposition to his measures. 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

Tallmadge's administration was very brief because of the 
change in 1845 in the administration of the national govern- 
ment; but it was more than a mere episode in territorial 
politics. His skill, experience, address, and wide outlook 
were valuable to the progress of the new territory. 

His successor, appointed by President Polk at the urgent 
request of the people of the territory, was their favorite, 
Henry Dodge, who thus became the last, as he had been the 
first, territorial governor. Dodge's successor as delegate was 
Morgan L. Martin of Green Bay, one of the earliest and 
ablest American pioneers of Wisconsin. Martin used his 
influence to secure a federal appropriation for the Fox- 
Wisconsin Improvement work. He also urged upon the 
Twenty-ninth Congress the claims of Wisconsin to statehood. 
Because of these and other services Martin and his friends 
considered that he was entitled to a second term as Congres- 
sional delegate. But the clamor for office on the part of 
ambitious politicians led to his defeat in the Democratic 
convention held at Madison July 21, 1847. The coveted 
nomination was secured by Moses M. Strong of Mineral 
Point. The Whigs put up John H. Tweedy of Milwaukee 
as their candidate, while the growing Liberty party nominated 
Charles Durkee of Kenosha. The campaign was the most 
vigorous and the most extensive made during the territorial 
period. The issues were complicated : personal, since Tweedy 
was the more correct in private character, and Strong had 
many enemies within his own party ; sectional, since Tweedy 
represented the eastern and Strong the western portion of the 
state; territorial, since after the defeat of the first state con- 
stitution Strong represented its partisans and Tweedy its 
opponents ; and national, since the complicated interaction of 
Whig, Democratic, and Liberty parties, increased by the ten- 
sion over the Wilmot Proviso, was reflected in local affairs. 
Strong took the stump and made speeches throughout the 
territory; the Liberty candidate was also aggressive and 
convincing. Tweedy, although he did not speak and expected 

The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848 


to be defeated, was elected by a considerable plurality; he 
took his seat in the Thirtieth Congress as the last territorial 
delegate from Wisconsin. 

During the territorial period the community was organ- 
ized politically; parties were formed, newspapers were 
established, and machinery was set in motion. The tone of 
territorial politics was acrimonious and personal. Charges of 
the most disgraceful conduct were freely bandied about ; per- 
sonalities were the current topics of the territorial press, and - 
bitter reprisals the usual political methods. None the less, 
as within a large family, while there was much wrangling, 
there was also much good-fellowship. Considering the low 
political morals engendered by the spoils system, and the 
depressed condition of national politics, the Wisconsin can- 
didates for and holders of office were above the average in 
ability and character. Most of them were men still young 
and vigorous, many of whom had had political experience in 
older communities. A very large proportion were lawyers 
possessed of considerable education and statesmanlike acu- 
men. One and all were imbued with a deep enthusiasm for 
Wisconsin, a belief in its future greatness, and a desire to 
serve in the progress and upbuilding of the new common- 


Like all territories Wisconsin had aspirations toward 
statehood, complicated, however, in this instance by the ques- 
tion of boundaries. The last of the states to be formed from 
the Northwest Territory, both Michigan and Illinois had 
encroached upon the territory originally allotted to the fifth 
state by the Ordinance of 1787. It was the southern boundary 
question, however, that was chiefly involved in the process of 
attaining statehood. Notwithstanding the fact that for more 
than twenty years Illinois had exercised jurisdiction over the 
disputed tract, Wisconsin's claims received much consider! 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

tion among its inhabitants and influenced the progress of the 
territory towards the goal of admission. 

In his annual message for 1839 Governor Dodge recom- 
mended the legislature to consider the submission of the 
question of statehood to the people at the next election. On 
January 13, 1840 an act was passed in accordance with this 
recommendation containing the proviso that a convention 
should be held with delegates from northern Illinois to discuss 
the inclusion of their territory in the proposed new state. 
Only by such a proceeding would there be a sufficient popula- 
tion to justify application to Congress for admission. Agi- 
tation quickly sprang up in the Illinois counties, and the 
majority of their people were eager to cast in their lot with 
that of the northern territory. Public meetings held at 
Galena and Rockford passed strong resolutions favoring the 
measure. Wisconsin people, on the contrary, took alarm at 
the proposal. Illinois was burdened with a heavy debt, and 
the portion that must be assumed by the region desiring inclu- 
sion in [Wisconsin staggered the financiers of the territory. 
Politicians were also fearful that their share of the offices 
would be diminished by the inclusion in the new state of a 
developed and thickly-populated region like northern Illinois. 
A meeting for Brown County held at Green Bay passed 
forcible resolutions against both statehood and the inclusion 
of any portion of Illinois. Wisconsin's meager population 
was unprepared on its own part to assume the liabilities of a 
state government. Therefore at a special session of the legis- 
lature held in August, 1840 the act of the preceding January 
was amended by a resolution that the convention therein 
authorized should not have the power to adopt a state consti- 
tution nor to declare the territory an independent state. The 
territorial press opposed the calling of the convention, urging 
the people to be contented with their fortunate situation 
wherein all expenses of territorial government were met, not 
by taxes, but by the federal authorities. The September vote 
was, as may be supposed, very small and almost wholly against 

The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848 


the proposition for a convention or for statehood. In Dane 
County, for instance, but one vote was cast in favor of the 

This decisive defeat put a quietus upon the statehood 
movement for the next two years. Meanwhile the Whig 
party succeeded in 1841 to the control of the federal govern- 
ment, and one of its first measures was a law for the distribu- 
tion to the states of the proceeds of the public lands. The 
territorial Whig press thereupon began an agitation for state- 
hood in order to participate in the benefits of the distribution. 
Governor Doty, the Whig appointee, had been for many 
years an enthusiastic advocate of Wisconsin's "original boun- 
daries." In his first annual message in December, 1841 he 
advised the consideration of statehood in order to secure the 
advantage of the distribution law. At the same time he called 
upon the legislature to assert the territory's right to the 
region of northern Illinois. The legislature, under control 
of the Democratic party, was bitterly hostile to the governor. 
The leader of the Council attacked the entire proposition in 
a partisan speech and a resolution was passed that "the time 
has not yet arrived when it [the consideration of statehood] 
is expedient." The Whigs thereupon called a meeting at the 
capitol that discussed the matter favorably and passed reso- 
lutions for a state government with the boundaries of the 
Ordinance of 1787. The legislature, none the less, refused 
to consider the subject, and the discussion went to the people. 
Most of the newspapers of the territory, then numbering 
nine, came out in opposition to statehood; about this time, 
however, the Doty party secured possession of the W isconsin 
Enquirer at Madison, which began a series of editorials 
favoring the state project. Doty even went so far as to Bend 
an official message to Governor Carlin of Illinois requiring 
him to desist from selecting state lands in the disputed Illinois 
tract. Doty's opponents claimed that he feared removal by 
the federal government and was providing a berth IV himself 
in the new state government he planned to establish. Be thai 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

as it may, on August 18, 1842 he issued a proclamation where- 
in without legislative sanction he summoned the people to 
vote at the September election "yea" or "nay" on the question 
of state government and the original southern boundary. The 
Democratic convention of the territory condemned this meas- 
ure as executive usurpation. The vote at the September 
election was negligible, the 619 votes for and the 1,821 against 
proving indifference rather than active hostility to the attain- 
ment of statehood. 

The next year Doty was still more deeply embroiled with 
the Democratic majority of the territorial legislature. Never- 
theless in his message, delivered in March 1843, he reverted 
to the proposition for a referendum on statehood. The legis- 
lature refused to consider the question, but some of the mem- 
bers suggested the advisability of such a movement in order 
"to shake off Doty's tyranny." 

A new cleavage of opinion appeared about this time. The 
southern counties bordering on Illinois began to favor imme- 
diate statehood. Racine, for example, fast filling up and 
establishing commercial connections with the northern Illinois 
villages, adopted a memorial favoring a movement toward 
statehood and the inclusion of northern Illinois. The northern 
Wisconsin counties, however, were still oppressed by the dread 
of being overpowered by the south in the event of annexation. 
The Green Bay Republican,, although a Whig organ, de- 
clared that "Few, very few, can be found in favor of our 
admission to the Union at this time." Meanwhile the Whig 
convention, which met in July, discussed the advantages of 
a state government and recommended the measure to its con- 
stituents. Doty, following his precedent of the preceding 
year, issued August 23, 1843 a second proclamation charging 
the legislature with negligence in not providing for a refer- 
endum on statehood and claiming a territorial population of 
over sixty thousand inhabitants. These he once more sum- 
moned to vote on the question of a state government, but 

The Story of Wisconsin, 16 34-18 48 


omitted all reference to the inclusion of Illinois. The vote 
was again very small and except in Racine County was 
adverse to the measure. That county gave a majority of 251 
in favor; the entire vote was 541 for, and 1,276 against; less 
in actual numbers than that of the preceding year. Ten 
counties, however, made no returns at all. 

Nothing daunted by this serious setback Doty returned to 
the proposal at the December session of the legislature of 
1843. Almost his entire message was devoted to a discussion 
of the importance of statehood, and the righteousness of Wis- 
consin's claim to "the integrity of her territorial boundaries" 
and her ancient "birthright." The Milwaukee Courier re- 
ferred to the message as "the same old tune on the same old 
string," but none the less new forces were at work which 
compelled the consideration of the question and removed it 
from the domain of party prejudice. The growing size of 
the population could no longer be ignored. All parties agreed 
that the requisite 60,000 inhabitants would be available before 
the territory could become a sovereign state. The approach 
of a presidential campaign made the politicians restive in a 
state of "babyhood and political vassalage." The large for- 
eign population desired to secure the political privileges they 
had come so far to seek, all the more that the Native American 
or Know Nothing party was advocating their exclusion from 
the polls. The advantages of statehood in stimulating immi- 
gration and the influx of capital were held by many to out- 
weigh the advantages of federal care for the territory. 

A remarkable change in sentiment animated the legisla- 
ture of 1843-44: the Democratic leaders who had stoutly 
opposed the measure in 1842 and 1843 now spoke enthusias- 
tically not only for state government, but for the maintenance 
of the ancient limits. In the Council Moses M. Strong, eha i r- 
man of the committee on the "infringement of boundaries," 
presented a long report covering the history of Wisconsin's 
grievances. He declared that if these were not compensated 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

Wisconsin "would remain a state out of the Union and possess, 
exercise, and enjoy all the rights, privileges, and powers of 
the sovereign, independent state of Wisconsin, and if difficul- 
ties must ensue, we could appeal with confidence to the Great 
Umpire of nations to adjust them." The Democratic volte- 
face was due to a desire to conciliate the foreign vote, which 
the Whigs were alienating by a leaning towards Native 
Americanism. About the time the Council report was deliv- 
ered a large German mass meeting was held in Milwaukee, 
which passed resolutions in favor of state government and 
prepared a petition which secured 1,200 signatures for the 
right to vote for delegates to a constitutional convention. 
In January, 1844 two bills passed the legislature: one pro- 
vided for a referendum on the subject of state government 
and, if it carried, for the immediate calling of a constitutional 
convention; the other provided that "all the free white male 
inhabitants * * * who shall have resided in the said territory 
three months" should be entitled to vote on the question of 
statehood and for delegates to a constitutional convention. 
The legislature also prepared a memorial to Congress recit- 
ing the wrongs the territory had endured by the infringement 
of its boundaries at the admission of Illinois and Michigan, 
and under the Webster- Ashburton Treaty wherein (it was 
claimed) 10,000 square miles of territory belonging to the 
fifth state of the Old Northwest had been surrendered to the 
British government. So belligerent was the tone of this docu- 
ment that one representative remarked it ought to be entitled 
"A declaration of war against Great Britain, Illinois, Michi- 
gan and the United States." The memorial concluded by 
agreeing to accept compensation from Congress in the form 
of desirable internal improvements such as harbors, canals, 
and a railway. It seems at the present time impossible that 
a document, which one of its advocates admitted would arouse 
in Congress nothing but a smile, could have seriously occupied 
the attention of the territorial legislature. Nevertheless the 

The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848 


memorial was passed by both houses and presented by the 
territorial delegate to the House of Representatives, where 
it was speedily suppressed in the Committee on Territories. 

Had the vote on the subject of immediate preparation for 
statehood occurred in April, 1844 it probably would have car- 
ried, and Wisconsin might have entered the Union before 
her western neighbor, Iowa. Both the Democratic and Whig 
press favored the measure; the foreign population was eager 
to exercise its rights ; and the Liberty party element desired 
additional northern members in both houses of Congress. In 
the territorial press much attention was devoted to the subject. 
The chief objections offered were constitutional and eco- 
nomic. Some of the legal minds of the community contended 
that a state could not be formed without the concurrent action 
of Congress and that it was wiser to wait until an enabling 
act could be secured to place Wisconsin on a proper footing. 
The financial obligations of a state were much discussed, and 
the belief was freely expressed that the necessary taxation 
would prove a heavy burden to the young community, all the 
more that the distribution act had been suspended. Local con- 
siderations influenced other voters. The southwest was hostile 
to political privileges for foreigners, since these would give 
preponderance to the lakeboard counties. The new settle- 
ments on the upper Mississippi and the St. Croix desired 
delay until a new territory could be formed for their region. 
By midsummer of 1844 interest in statehood had so waned 
that the matter was seldom mentioned in the press, whose 
columns were filled with the excitement of the presidential 
campaign. The retirement of Governor Doty removed the 
executive support of the measure. The Democratic press 
repudiated the agency of their party in its favor and declared 
that the executive junto had forced them to submit the meas- 
ure to the people. Rejection was anticipated, and at the 
September election only 1,503 votes were recorded in favor 
to 5,843 against adopting a state government. Thus the 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

fourth attempt to secure a referendum vote in favor of state- 
hood for Wisconsin failed. Governor Tallmadge in his mes- 
sage to the legislature of 1845 accepted the decision of the 
people as putting the matter at rest for the time being, and 
the project was not revived until 1846. 

In the meantime political conditions had been reversed. 
The Democratic party had secured possession of the entire 
territorial government. During the summer and autumn of 
1845 the press continually agitated for a new referendum. 
Two causes operated to change public opinion: one was the 
growing population, which was believed to be twice the pre- 
scribed 60,000; the other was the penurious policy of Con- 
gress concerning territorial appropriations. In May, 1845 
the Madison Argus declared that Congress was trying to 
drive the territory into a state government. A lesser influence 
was dissatisfaction with the territorial judiciary and a desire 
to control the choice of judges. By 1845 the question trans- 
cended party difF erences. The Wisconsin Republican stated 
that, whichever party succeeded at the fall election, statehood 
would become an immediate issue. Scores and hundreds of 
the inhabitants were ready to change their vote from the 
negative to the affirmative. 

Such differences of opinion as existed were concerned 
with the method of attaining the desired goal. Some of the 
more aggressive papers suggested that the time had come to 
form a state government and present its claims to Congress. 
"We need not," said the Madison Express, "stand like Iowa 
hat in hand, we may go and demand admission not as a favor 
but as a right." More moderate counsels opposed action 
without Congressional consent. The northern part of the 
territory preferred the slower or Congressional method; 
the southern part desired immediate action by territorial 

As the event proved, both methods were simultaneously 
employed. On January 9, 1846 Morgan L. Martin, terri- 

The Story of Wisconsin, 1634-1848 


torial delegate, obtained leave to introduce into the House 
of Representatives an enabling act for Wisconsin. This was 
referred to the Committee on Territories, and in June re- 
ported by Stephen A. Douglas and passed. The Senate 
concurred, and on August 6 the bill was signed by the presi- 
dent. In the meantime Governor Dodge in his January mes- 
sage of 1846 recommended to the legislature a statehood 
referendum. That body favored the measure and advised 
taking advantage of the federal situation. Florida and Texas 
had both been admitted since any northern territory had 
entered the Union. Iowa and Wisconsin were expected to 
restore the sectional balance in the Senate. The chief ques- 
tion was still one of boundaries. The idea of laying claim 
to northern Illinois had been dropped, but as Texas was in- 
tended to be divided into several slave states, the problem was 
to secure as many northern states as possible. It was con- 
tended that three states should be formed of the territory 
north and west of Wisconsin and Iowa, east of Red River of 
the North. This would denude jWisconsin of a large part of 
her northwestern region. The legislature in April passed an 
act for the referendum without adverting to the subject of 
boundaries. The benefit of a state government was the theme 
of the legislative speeches ; control over finances, over school 
and university lands, over the judiciary, and the advantages 
of independency were the considerations urged. The chief 
party difference was with regard to the foreign vote, the 
qualifications for which had been amended in the preceding 
legislature by the requirement of a six months' residence and 
a declaration of intended citizenship. The Whigs wished to 
repeal these liberal provisions and reduce the foreign vote to 
a minimum, but the Democrats stood firm for the six months' 
clause, and the referendum bill contained the provision aa it 
already existed. 

After the adjournment of the legislature it was evident 
that the statehood proposition would be accepted. All par- 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

ties agreed that the territory would be the gainer by this meas- 
ure. The vote was 12,334 in favor; 2,487 in opposition. 
On August 1 Governor Dodge apportioned the territory for 
delegates to a convention to prepare a constitution. All 
political parties nominated candidates and much interest was 
taken in their election, which took place on September 7. 
One himdred twenty-five delegates were chosen, most of them 
of the Democratic faith. The Whig members were few, but 
their influence was important because of their talents and 
ability. The entire convention was composed of the ablest 
leaders of opinion in the territory. Organization was effected 
October 5, by the choice of D. A. J. Upham of Milwaukee 
for chairman, and Lafayette Kellogg of Madison as sec- 

The convention was in session ten weeks and two days, 
adjourning on December 16. The constitution it prepared 
for the consideration of the people was radical and demo- 
cratic. Its chief model was the constitution and political 
practice of New York; but independence of thought and 
readiness to experiment were marked characteristics of the 
convention. The principal innovations were the banking pro- 
visions forbidding all banks of issue; the judiciary arrange- 
ments for an elective system and the nisi prius method of state 
courts; the property rights of married women and the ex- 
emption of the homestead from the creditor's claim upon the 
debtor. The question of negro suffrage was left for a special 
referendum, when the constitution's acceptance should be 

During the convention personal and party differences 
caused much friction. One of the leading members resigned 
in dissatisfaction before the close of the session. The presi- 
dent in his closing speech apologized for the lack of harmony 
and hoped the constituents would consider the difficulties 
under which the convention had labored. Several of its mem- 
bers went away with the avowed purpose of defeating the 

The Story of Wisconsin, 1684-1848 


constitution at the polls. Petitions were presented to the 
January legislature of 1847, urging the calling of another 
convention in case the constitution should be rejected. During 
the discussion of this measure strong speeches were made in 
opposition to adopting the constitution. 

The opponents of the instrument were of no one party, 
but the Whigs as representatives of the moneyed and business 
class disapproved of the banking and exemption clauses. 
Ex-Governor Tallmadge was considered the commander-in- 
chief of the anticonstitutional forces. The Liberty men op- 
posed ratification because negro suffrage was not embodied 
in the instrument. One faction of the Democrats opposed, 
apparently because the other faction approved. The entire 
territory was divided into pro- and anticonstitution groups. 
The banking clause and the married women's property and 
exemption clauses raised a storm of opposition. The people 
were influenced by the impassioned oratory of the leaders. 
Mass meetings were held by both the "Friends of the Con- 
stitution" and the "Anti-Constitution" groups. Songs were 
written, liberty poles erected, and the populace was stirred to 
the pitch where blows succeeded words as arguments. Most 
of the voters had slight understanding of the radical proposi- 
tions embodied in the constitution, but influenced by party 
leaders the majority went to the polls April 6, 1847 preju- 
diced against the instrument and defeated its adoption by a 
vote of 14,119 for, and 20,233 against. 

Before the constitution had been defeated strong influ- 
ences had been at work to prepare the way for a second 
convention should the result of the first be rejected. The 
territorial press agitated for a special legislative session ; peti- 
tions bearing many signatures requested immediate action. 
It was much desired that a constitution should be drawn in 
time to permit Wisconsin to take part in the presidential 
campaign of 1848. Accordingly on September 27i 1847 
Governor Dodge issued a call for an extra session of tfae 


Louise Phelps Kellogg 

legislature which took place October 18-27. Its sole business 
was to arrange for a new constitutional convention, and the 
only difficulty was the apportionment of members. A strong 
desire was evinced for a smaller convention, so that the num- 
ber of delegates was finally fixed at sixty-nine, and the date 
for assembling December 15. These measures met with gen- 
eral approval ; nominations were quickly made, and the elec- 
tion of delegates occurred on November 29. A few of the 
local nominating conventions instructed their delegates; in 
others candidates were closely questioned on the subjects of 
banking, married women's rights, and exemptions. Few of 
the first convention members were nominated a second time. 
The choice resulted in a larger proportion of Whigs, twenty- 
three of that party being chosen to forty-six Democrats. The 
convention organized with the election of Morgan L. Martin 
chairman and Thomas M. McHugh secretary. A new 
constitution was prepared with some measure of unanimity. 
The fundamental law was made to rest on general principles, 
while most of the disputed features of the earlier constitution 
were omitted. The elective judiciary was retained, exemp- 
tions and married women's property rights were left to later 
legislation, a harmless banking privilege was incorporated. 

The convention finished its labors on February 1, and the 
popular election was set for March 13. The Liberty party 
was the only opposition element in the territory. All the 
press advocated the adoption of the new constitution. One 
of the members of the first convention attempted to secure 
from the legislature the right for the people to vote for the 
first constitution as well as for the second, but he was unsuc- 
cessful. The election on March 13 gave 16,417 votes in favor 
of the constitution and 6,174 against it. On April 10 the 
Governor issued a proclamation declaring the result, and on 
May 29, 1848 Congress formally admitted Wisconsin to the 
Union. The constitution adopted in 1848 has stood the test 
of time and still serves as the fundamental law of the state 
of Wisconsin. 



Rasmus B. Anderson 

When the so-called Kensington Rune Stone in 1898 was 
brought forth from its sleep beneath the roots of a tree on a 
farm near Kensington, Minnesota, it produced but a slight 
ripple of sensation. A photographic copy of the inscription 
on this stone was sent to me and to others supposed to be 
somewhat familiar with the runic alphabet and with Old 
Norse history, for our opinion, and I think I may safely say 
that we all agreed in declaring it to be a rather clumsy fraud. 
As a result the matter received but little further attention, 
and Mr. Olaf Ohman, on whose farm the stone was found, 
converted it into a stepping-stone to his granary. In course 
of time Mr. H. R. Holand, now of Ephraim, Wisconsin, hap- 
pened to visit Mr. Ohman and got possession of the discarded 
rune stone, and how he ever since has been exploiting it is 
presumably well known to my readers. The inscription is a 
fraud on the very face of it, and the proofs of this fact are 
most abundant. 

I do not at present care to enter into a detailed discussion 
of all the evidence against the genuineness of this runic in- 
scription. I will, however, mention three facts that seem to 
me quite conclusive. 

( 1 ) The date at the end of the inscription is 1362. Now 
it is a well-known fact that the runes were extensively used 
in the north of Europe before the eleventh century, but with 
the introduction of Christianity the people got ink, parch- 
ment, and the Roman alphabet; the runes very rapidly passed 
into desuetude, and long before 1862 their use had been wholly 


Rasmus B. Anderson 

(2) In the very beginning of the inscription occurs the 
word "opdhagelsefserdh," and the word "opdagelse," which 
means discovery, had not yet been incorporated into any 
Scandinavian tongue. 

(3) In the inscription we also find the word "rise," mean- 
ing journey. The word "reisa" is found in the old Scandi- 
navian languages, but there it invariably means to raise, to 
erect: thus, in phrases stating that a son erects a memorial 
stone on his father's grave. But "reisa," meaning a journey, 
is a word of recent importation in Scandinavia. 

If an inscription should be brought to the notice of the 
public with a claim that it was say 200 years old and was found 
to contain such words as automobile, telephone, bicycle, wire- 
less, aeroplane, and so on ad libitum, the opinion of a learned 
university professor would not be required to establish its 
fraudulent origin. 

Perhaps I ought to add that the fact that in the very first 
line of the inscription eight of the supposed explorers are 
described as Goths, that is, men from Sweden, is sufficient to 
throw suspicion on its genuineness, for it is well known that 
those who made voyages to Iceland, Greenland, Vinland, and 
to the western islands, generally, came not from Sweden or 
Denmark, but from Norway. 

As is well known, Mr. Holand several years ago took this 
rune stone to Europe and had it examined by experts in 
Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, but these all declared it to 
be without any historical value. 

And now I have a short story to tell my readers of an 
incident that occurred to me ten years ago. I made a state- 
ment of it in my paper Amerika at the time, but as the interest 
in the Kensington stone was then generally on the wane, my 
story did not attract as wide attention as I had hoped. 

These are the facts: 

In 1910, on invitation, I delivered at Stanley, in the north- 
western part of North Dakota, an oration on the seventeenth 

Another View of the Kensington Rune Stone 415 

of May, Norway's Fourth of July. Stanley was then a vil- 
lage of about one thousand inhabitants. The weather was 
fine; the speaking and music were from a platform erected 
in the middle of the main street; all business was suspended; 
and a large number of people had come from the surrounding 
country and from neighboring villages, so that I was favored 
with a large audience. In the evening there was a dance in 
a large hall over a corner drug store. I was asked to attend 
this ball, but as I was to take an early morning train for 
St. Paul, I decided to retire early at my hotel. But I stepped 
into the drug store where ice cream, soda water, and cigars 
were sold. On entering the drug store I heard a man making 
a vigorous speech in praise of the orator of the day. He told 
the people how that gentleman had been a professor at the 
University of Wisconsin, how he had served a term as United 
States minister to Denmark, how he had perpetrated book 
after book extolling the culture of the Scandinavians, and in- 
sisted that he was entitled to far more appreciation than was 
generally accorded him. This advocate of mine was attired 
in the clothes of a workingman, more or less covered with dry 
mud, but his speech revealed a man of more than ordinary 
culture. If he had been an Irishman I should have been sure 
that he had kissed the Blarney Stone. He could quote 
Swedish poetry and Latin and Greek phrases with absolute 
accuracy. He was well up in literature, history, and philoso- 
phy. I admired him, not because he had showered compli- 
ments on me and handed me a cigar, but because he was a man 
of wonderful intelligence and of thorough education, and still 
did not feel above doing common work. 

In addressing him I said, "Who in the world air you, 

He told me that he was a Swede, that his name WM 
Andrew Anderson, that in his younger days be had been I 
student at the celebrated University of Upsala, and that in 
1882 he had quit the University, packed his hooks, and cnii- 


Rasmus B. Anderson 

grated to America, settling in Hoffman, Minnesota, where 
he now owned a valuable farm. He had for years worked on 
Jim Hill's Great Northern Railroad and was now acciden- 
tally at Stanley as foreman in a dump on the great magnate's 
road. In honor of Norway's independence day he had given 
the men under him a holiday and with them he had come to 
town to take part in the celebration and to hear me speak. 

Hoffman, Minnesota! This set thoughts whirling in my 
brain. I asked him if that was not near Kensington and 
whether he knew a man there by the name of Olaf Ohman, 
on whose land a stone with a runic inscription had been found. 

"Of course I know Mr. Ohman. He is a neighbor of 
mine, and he is my brother-in-law." 

He unfolded to me that Olaf Ohman had come from Hel- 
singeland in Sweden in 1 875 and had settled as a farmer near 
the village of Kensington. 

Andrew Anderson added, "He is a man in easy circum- 
stances. He was educated as a mechanic in Sweden and is 
thoroughly skilled in the handling of all kinds of mechanics' 
tools. He is not a college-bred man like myself, but he has 
always been a great reader. His favorite books are Alexander 
von Humboldt's Cosmos and a work in Swedish called the 
Gospel of Nature." 

At this point I invested in a package of Havanas and 
compelled Andrew Anderson to go with me to the hotel where 
I was stopping and on arriving there we went to my room 
where I closed the door. I prodded him with all manner of 
questions in regard to the rune stone and I found him very 
familiar with its history. 

In the course of our conversation he gave me an interest- 
ing account of a deposed Swedish minister by name Fogel- 
blad. This Reverend Mr. Fogelblad was a graduate from the 
department of theology in the University of Upsala and for 
some years he had served as a regular pastor of the national 
church in Sweden; but he had grown so dissipated that he 

Another View of the Kensington Rune Stone 417 

had to be deposed. Having lost his position and standing, 
he had emigrated to America and had found his way into 
Minnesota, where he visited the various Swedish settlements 
as a typical literary tramp, paying for his living at the various 
homes where he stopped by giving entertaining and instruc- 
tive conversations and writing letters to friends in Sweden 
for people who were not themselves handy with the pen. On 
these wanderings he came to Hoffman and Kensington and 
fairly ingratiated himself with Andrew Anderson and Olaf 
Ohman. Both of these men were deeply interested in cultural 
topics and the tramp Fogelblad had a large storehouse of 
knowledge to draw from. In fact Mr. Fogelblad made An- 
drew Anderson's home his headquarters and there he died 
about the year 1900. Andrew Anderson reverently closed 
Fogelblad's eyes in death and took him to his final resting- 
place. I may add that Anderson and Ohman and Fogelblad 
had long since abandoned the Lutheran Church and by their 
neighbors were classed as liberals in religious matters. The 
Reverend Mr. Fogelblad, so Anderson told me, was well 
versed in the subject of the Old Norse runes. Anderson, him- 
self, had brought with him from Upsala, Fryxell's great his- 
torical work which contains a full account of the runes with 
facsimiles of the various runic alphabets. He loaned this book 
to his brother-in-law, Olaf Ohman, and oftentimes Fogelblad, 
Anderson, and Ohman spent the evenings or Sundays to- 
gether discussing the runes. Fogelblad and Anderson would 
write out long stories with runic characters and then read and 
translate what they had written to Ohman. In further evi- 
dence of Fogelblad's attainments, I may add that he wrote 
an ambitious book called The Age of Learning (Upplysmn- 
gens Tidehvarf ). It has no important bearing on the subject . 
perhaps, but I may add that the three were all very proud to 
consider themselves wholly emancipated from the dogmas of 
the Church. 


Rasmus B. Anderson 

So we now have here Olaf Ohman, who settled near Ken- 
sington in 1875, and on whose farm the notorious rune stone 
was found at the root of a young tree in 1898; Andrew An- 
derson, who arrived from Sweden and settled there in 1882; 
and the Reverend Mr. Fogelblad, who came to Minnesota 
about the same time and spent much time at the homes of 
Ohman and Anderson. All three were deeply interested in the 
runes and had made a pretty thorough study of the subject. 
Either Anderson or Fogelblad could prepare an inscription 
on paper and the mechanic, Ohman, could readily give the 
runes permanency by chiseling them out on a stone. 

Mr. Anderson, whom I can best describe as a diamond in 
the rough, did not, I must admit, in my long and interesting 
conversation with him, confess that either one of the three 
had had anything to do with the much advertised Kensington 
Rune Stone, but I will add with emphasis that he did give 
me several significant winks. When I pressed the question 
whether he and Fogelblad had not concocted this runic 
inscription hoax, he told me that under no law was a man 
expected to incriminate himself and so far as Fogelblad was 
concerned, he would be the last man to cast aspersions on the 
memory of a departed friend. 

The fact that Ohman, Anderson, and Fogelblad were all 
three Swedes throws a flood of light on the first two words 
of the inscription which begins: "Eight Goths." Considering 
the high intelligence of Olaf Ohman and his deep interest in 
literature, science, and history, can any of the defenders of 
this rune stone explain how he put this wonderful find to such 
sordid use as to serve as a stepping-stone to his granary? 
Surely he would not be guilty of such vandalism, if he had 
the slightest faith in its genuineness as an historical relic. 
Would he not rather have given it a place of honor in his 
parlor or library? 

Andrew Anderson and I parted in the small hours of the 
morning with a most cordial handshake and as the very best 

Another View of the Kensington Rime Stone 419 

of friends. This interview has served to solve in my mind 
with entire satisfaction all the mystery surrounding this 
much exploited rune stone, which, from whatever point of 
view it is considered, is nothing but a poorly devised fraud. 

How easy it would be for three cronies in Madison to carve 
some words and figures on a slab of stone, then some dark 
night bury it under a tree on the eastern shores of Lake 
Monona, and finally, after a few years, bring it to the light 
of day and claim that it must be a relic of pre-Columbian - 

And now, my gentle reader, I leave the matter to you and 
ask you to draw your own conclusions in regard to the true 
origin of the Kensington Rune Stone. So far as I know 
Anderson and Ohman are still living near Kensington. May 
I not therefore suggest that anyone sufficiently interested 
can make a pilgrimage to their homes and interview them 
and so probe this matter further? I have no doubt that the 
result would be a complete vindication of the conclusion I 
have reached as to the authenticity of this runic inscription. 
May I not also suggest that this fake has now been exploited 
and written up far more than it deserves and that pen, ink. 
paper, and brains may be employed to some better purpose? 


David F. Sayre 

In writing a paper on the phases of a new life in a new 
land one suddenly becomes convinced of the truth of an old 
saying, that "many of the ills of life go where the white man 
goes, and stay where he stays." Forty years ago one never 
saw a crow in Wisconsin, and yet within but a year the super- 
visors of Rock County passed an ordinance to pay ten cents 
for each crow killed. In the fall of 1849 I rode eight miles, 
at the request of a doctor, to find a weed which he needed for 
one of his patients, a weed which covers the state today. The 
first dandelion in this region was brought the same year 
from Lexington, Kentucky, and planted in a garden in Sec- 
tion No. 9 of Porter, for table use. The Indian papoose was 
never stung by a honeybee until the white man brought this 
maker of sweets to his country. But it was not all ill which 
the white man brought. The Fourth of July and picnics 
came with him, too. The Puritans tried to banish Christmas, 
but Thanksgiving, at first, and afterwards the Fourth of July 
they originated and handed down to the whole nation. The 
Saints' days do not receive a cordial welcome. So the Fourth 
of July and the picnic came to northern Rock. 

Among the curious new sights which came to the eyes 
of your fathers was the annual autumnal migration of the 
Indians (Winnebago) from their reservation in the north 
to the lakes at Madison, and thence down the Catfish River 
to its mouth in the Rock, thence up the Rock to Lake Kosh- 
konong, for their yearly supply of wild rice. Their trail 
usually followed the river until it struck the northwest corner 
of the south half of Section No. 13 of Porter, thence direct 
to the Indian Garden where the Catfish empties into the 
Rock. Of those Indians who came in canoes, the women and 

Early Life in Southern Wisconsin 


children almost always camped on Section 13, and then it 
was that white husbands saw the primitive and proper condi- 
tion of mankind. No sooner had they paddled their canoes 
ashore than the women took the hatchets and began to build 
the tepee — wigwam we called it. They cut down the poles 
and planted them in the ground and covered them with mat- 
ting, while the braves, their lords, seated themselves on the 
ground to smoke, to talk — say politics — and fix their traps. 
No one of us white men ever found our wives or sisters allow- 
ing us to do that. The wigwam put up, the begging began. 
Every family received a visit from one of the women. Every- 
thing eatable was asked for: pork, flour, potatoes, butter and 
bread, and all were thrown into their blankets, a motley mass. 
The blanket probably had once been white, but soon took on 
the color of the wearer. One visit of the wives of these "noble 
red men" and all romance of Indian life was gone. The 
strongest imagination could never conjure up a Hiawatha, 
or even an old Nokomis. These parties came down the river 
all through the fifties and sixties, but the fast coming settle- 
ments of the white man and the failure of the wild rice in 
the lake put a stop to them. 

Rock County is today what the women and men of the 
forties and fifties made it. You who see it now dotted with 
pleasant houses and profitable farms can not see it as it was 
sixty years ago, a great sweeping, undulating plain of rich 
prairie land covered with the richest flowers, relieved with 
trees along the river banks and in groves to give variety to 
the picture. Today you see it as man has transformed the 
beautiful, bounteous, unprofitable nature into money-making 
houses and fields and smoking factories. Today you meet 
with a public opinion which governs your houses, your farms, 
your social manners, your eating and drinking, even your 
dress, and everything which joins you to the world of your 
fellow men. Mrs. Grundy has come in. Then every mm 
who came here was a law unto himself. Tie brought his old 


David F. Sayre 

habits and manners — habits and manners as different from 
the other few incomers as the eastern society from which he 
came differed. Everyone fenced his part of the section, 
plowed his fields, and built himself a shanty without regard 
to the ideas of his far-off neighbor, but always with due 
regard to the few dollars in his purse. Even his few farm 
animals wandered where they saw fit. 

Every newcomer was a neighbor to everyone within miles 
of his home. There was plenty of work to do, few to do it, 
and everyone gave what he could to help. Those of you — I 
am not talking to the ladies now — those of you who have 
broken your acres during the last thirty years with three or 
four horses and a narrow breaking plow can scarcely under- 
stand the slow process of breaking land with six yoke of oxen 
and a thirty-inch plow. I wish you could have seen the long 
string of droning cattle — the biggest one always the leader 
and always called "Baby." But they broke our ground and 
fitted it for the wheat that was sure to follow. Everyone 
raised wheat, and little else. How did we manage to live 
through some of those years? The first crop of wheat I raised 
I sent to Milwaukee — that was the only market — and sold it 
at forty-five cents a bushel and paid twenty-five cents to the 
man who hauled it. It netted me twenty cents per bushel. 
I am glad I was not married then. After I had been here 
two or three years notice was given that a new machine, a 
reaper, was to begin to cut the wheat on a neighboring farm. 
As a matter of course we all turned out to see the sight — four 
horses before the reaper, in appearance like the early Mc- 
Cormick, but the machine dropped the unbound sheaves right 
in the track of the horses. There were not binders enough, 
so the onlookers had to turn in and bind so that the machine 
could make the second round. It was a failure. And then 
came the McCormick, the first one, one with the reel driven 
by a belt. Oh, how arms and backs ached raking off that 
heavy grain : two men on the reaper, five men binding, and 

Early Life in Southern Wisconsin 


two men setting up in shocks. Nine men day in and day out, 

week after week, for our wives — those glorious women to 

cook for. You ladies of today, who have your well-appointed 
houses to look after, may know whether your mothers were 
worthy of the worshipful love of their husbands. And then 
the necessary food for all these men. The hot saleratus 
biscuit and dried apples. How constant they were. Beef 
2y 2 cents a pound by the quarter; 10 cents for a chicken, big 
or little ; 5 cents a dozen for eggs ; 2% cents for dressed pork ; 
butter — every housewife made her own. I can remember no 
price for it. Every farmer raised his own flour, although 
some drove from fifty to seventy miles to Fulton to the mill 
to grind their wheat, until Beloit and Stoughton started 
their mills. 

But the women of that day — how did they live such 
work-a-day lives ? I know they took their hours of rest. One 
day in April of 1850 I was drawing logs to the sawmill in 
Fulton. The snow was six inches deep and had been lying 
for two days on the ground, with mud two or three inches 
deep under it. I was using a pair of bobs, no box on it. As 
I passed through the village, on the brightest of bright days, 
I saw several ladies at one of the houses at an afternoon 
party: young married ladies as full of fun as any young girl 
needs to be. One of them hailed me, saying, "Won't you 
give us a sleigh ride?" They could not be refused. Six or 
eight of them came out and somehow seated themselves on 
the runners, among them the only woman in the region who 
had money, the wife of the proprietor of the village. He 
had made four thousand dollars in his mill during the winter. 
The wife, as in duty bound, had gone to Milwaukee and 
bought a rich black velvet mantilla. I venture to say no Slldl 
thing had been seen in Rock County before. Arrayed in this 
rich costume she seated herself on one of the crossbars of the 
runners. The ride was perhaps a mile through the BlOW and 
slush, the women laughing at the fun, as a true woman has B 


David F. Sayre 

right to laugh. At the end, say of a mile, I turned around 
and thoughtlessly struck the horses slightly with the whip. 
Oh, what screams! "Stop! Stop!" The horses stopped, and 
looking about there sat the velvet mantilla with the owner in 
it, in six inches of snow and slush. Was there ever such a 
shamefaced driver? With no fault of his own, he knew that 
that rich velvet mantilla could never look fresh and unsoiled 
again. But the women had the fun. All the more so because 
of the constant work of those days. 

The young girls, where were they? I have been trying 
to count them. I can remember but nine in a circle, the 
diameter of which is fifteen miles. I do not think I have 
missed anyone. I am not practiced in passing the girls by. 
One of them you have in your town now; one who carried 
joy and brightness to all within her reach. Permit an old 
man to bring the tribute of his respect and lay it at the feet 
of one whose young maidenhood threw so much sunshine over 
the dreariness of a new country. 

When I came to this beautiful land I had a wholesome 
fear of two things: fever and ague, and rattlesnakes. You 
can imagine that my anxiety in regard to the ague was not 
allayed when I was told at my first call upon a neighbor that 
"this was the healthiest place he had ever lived in; there had 
not been an ague in that house for two weeks." But fifty 
years have come and gone, and the dreaded disease has not 
made its appearance yet. As for the snakes, not one was 
seen for three months. One evening in the early gloaming, 
in crossing the bridge at Stebbinsville, a peculiar sound was 
heard, a sound which once heard is never forgotten. I stopped 
and listened, and walked back and forth to see what made it. 
As I passed a certain point of the bridge, it grew louder and 
more constant. I fixed the point, and on looking over the 
railing, saw coiled up on a brace a miserable little snake, say 
fifteen inches long, rattling his threats at me with a snake's 
venom. A little blow of a stick ended his threats, and fear 
of rattlesnakes vanished. 

Early Life in Southern Wisconsin 


The first Thanksgiving in Rock County ought ever to be 
remembered. Nelson Dewey was the first governor of the 
state. He was not supposed to be a religious man, and 
allowed his first year (1848) to go by without a Thanks- 
giving. In his second year the month of November came, 
and no proclamation. There lived in Janesville a constable 
named Martin Dewey, and in the middle of the month the 
Janesville Gazette published a proclamation of a Thanks- 
giving signed "M. Dewey." Everyone supposed that the 
printer had made a mistake in the letter "M" so the good 
people made preparations and celebrated the first Thanks- 
giving in the county. The day was just past, when the 
Governor, ashamed as was thought, issued a genuine procla- 
mation, signed "N. Dewey," and fixed another day, and so 
we had two Thanksgivings, I think within a week of each 
other. We did not have the turkey, nor the mince pies, but 
we did have pumpkin pies, and as good a dinner as you can 
have nowadays. 

But to come to more serious reminiscences, Rock County 
in the late fifties and early sixties had supported Mr. Lincoln 
for the presidency, had seen him elected, and knew that he 
was inaugurated into his office. Then it heard like a sudden, 
awful peal of thunder the cannon at Fort Sumter. It had 
but one thought, one desire — to hasten to defend the Union. 
Our county needed no inducement to rally to Mr. Lincoln's 
call to arms. The county's quota of men was on hand. Pub- 
lic meetings were held in every township. In the town of 
Porter the remembrance is very vivid with me of how one 
of the most prominent Democrats stepped forward with the 
strongest resolutions in the support of Mr. Lincoln, whom 
a little while before he had warmly opposed. Need I tefl 
you that that very man advocated the levying of two taxes 
each year in that town, which was done, rather thai) mil into 
debt in securing the money which was needed? Need T bell 
you how the price of every necessity of life w is doubled, 


David F. Sayre 

quadrupled ? No one murmured. It was the price of our 
Union and had to be paid. The balance was not always on 
the wrong side of the sheet, either. A neighbor sold thirty 
hogs for $900 — thirteen cents a pound — and they averaged 
less than two hundred fifty pounds in weight. You ought 
to have seen the presents which that man brought to the 
Christmas tree in Fulton church. 

In the time of the war one man, known to you older citi- 
zens, bought a piece of land. The wife of the seller declared 
that she would not sign the deed unless the buyer gave her 
a dress. An old custom was that a married woman need not 
sign a deed for her husband's land unless the purchaser gave 
her a silk dress. In this case the buyer went to Janesville 
and bought the dress, paying almost as much as a common 
silk would cost today. When the woman opened the bundle 
she found twelve or fourteen yards of bed ticking. She was 
satisfied and signed the deed. 

The soldiers went out from us bright and joyful, but oh, 
the heart-breaking groans of the mothers and wives of those 
who never returned. The remembrance of them is in every 
cemetery, and you see the memorial flags there on every 
Memorial Day. 

One of these boys — he was a mere boy from Fulton Sun- 
day School — enlisted and after a long service was with Gen- 
eral Thomas in the battle of Nashville. His health was badly 
shattered, and when the battle began he was told by his officer 
to go to the rear. But no; all the first day, and at night he 
was repeatedly advised to keep to the rear; he refused and 
was in the fight all the next day until Hood was driven back 
and our troops shouted for victory. Then and only then did 
Alonzo Sutton give up the fight, and was sent home to die 
in our midst. 

In conclusion I wish to say that I have never seen any 
other county save one which I would exchange for this. And 
that one is Chester County, Pennsylvania, where those Dutch 

Early Life in Southern Wisconsin 


farmers have piled up two hundred years of wealth. When 
our children shall have seen two hundred years of service 
here they will not even wish to go to that beautiful Dutch 

If I could call before you now the men and women of 
fifty or sixty years ago, you think you would cry out, "What 
dreary, heavy-worked lives they must have lived." Do you 
think so? Their lives were as full of joy and healthy experi- 
ences as you fair women enjoy today. When you look out 
of your windows any day and see the earth all aglow with 
sunshine your hearts are lifted up. Those fathers and 
mothers of yours were looking forward to prospects as bright 
as the sunshine on your fields. They came from the work 
of eastern homes, which were stationary and gave them no 
promise of any future; they came to homes here, bringing 
brighter days, more light, more sunshine, and drawing them 
more and more into touch with the world around them. They 
fought a brave fight and victory was their reward. 

W. A. Titus 


Yet it was not that nature had shed o'er the scene 

Her purest of crystal and brightest of green; 

'Twas not her soft magic of streamlet or hill. 

Oh ! no — it was something more exquisite still. — Thomas Moore. 

On the east shore of Lake Winnebago about three miles 
in a northeasterly direction from the mouth of the Fond du 
Lac River lies the decayed hamlet of Taycheedah. It is 
credited with a year-around population of one hundred and 
fifty and has a good public school, a Methodist church, a post- 
office, and a small general store. It has a weather-beaten shed 
where passenger trains stop on signal, but has no station agent 
and no freight service. This commonplace description would 
fit any one of a hundred small towns in Wisconsin, but Tay- 
cheedah is not commonplace; it has a history reaching as far 
back as the first settlement of the Lake Winnebago region 
and was once the social and cultural center of Fond du Lac 
County with a commercial importance that eclipsed the 
neighboring settlement of Fond du Lac. 

The first white explorers found an Indian village on the 
site of Taycheedah; in 1795 it is recorded that Sar-ro-chau 
was the chief of the Winnebago band at this point. Grignon 
speaks of Sar-ro-chau as "one of the best of Indians." The 
old chief took part in the War of 1812 and died soon after 
the close of hostilities. His son, Charatchou, better known 
as The Smoker, aided the whites in the pursuit of Black 
Hawk's warriors in 1832. The Taycheedah Indians were 
long remembered by the early traders and settlers because of 
their friendly attitude and their willingness to assist the new- 
comers when other Indian bands became unruly. 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin 


In the years of exploration and early settlement all 
travel routes from the Green Bay settlements to the Fond 
du Lac region followed the east shore of the extensive inland 
lake, and the travelers were sure to pass through Taycheedah 
as a gateway to the prairie region beyond. These pioneers 
were enthusiastic about the possibilities of this old Indian 
camping ground as an ideal location for a village or a city. 
A settlement was begun at Taycheedah in 1839 which soon 
outstripped the earlier and rival settlement at Fond du Lac. 
There was little to commend the Fond du Lac location at 
this early day. The land on which it was built was marshy 
and almost as low as the lake level; the drainage problem, 
if it occurred to the early settlers at all, must have seemed 
next to impossible. Inundations occurred every spring when 
the snow melted on the surrounding hills. From a geo- 
graphical viewpoint, however, Fond du Lac was the logical 
place for a city. Situated at the upper point of the lake, 
future railroad lines from both sides would necessarily con- 
verge there, and this prospect must have gone far to overcome 
the effect of the depressed and cheerless terrain. The harbor 
facilities, also, were superior to those of Taycheedah. 

From the sandy shore line at Taycheedah the level land, 
covered by great groves of forest trees, stretched backward 
for a full mile, and then came the picturesque ledge two 
hundred feet high with another area of level wooded country 
above. From the higher levels the view across the lake wafl 
indescribably beautiful, and the entire topography seemed 
to lend itself to the building of an attractive urban center, 

These respective advantages and disadvantages caused 
the rival settlements to contend for the supremacy for s num- 
ber of years, although in the early forties Taycheedah WU 
by far the larger place. About 1848, however, Fond du 1 *C 
began to attract settlers in such numbers as to establish its 
supremacy for all time. The final result was largely due to 
the foresight of Dr. Mason C. Darling, who having acquired 


W. A. Titus 

much real estate in Fond du Lac donated a site for the court- 
house as well as for many of the new business ventures in 
the struggling community. It is said that real estate in 
Taycheedah was held at a high figure by speculators, but the 
outcome was exactly the reverse of what these land-owners 
expected. Money was scarce in the new country, and business 
concerns located where lots could be secured free rather than 
where they were held for fancy prices. 

The first settler in Taycheedah was Francis D. McCarty, 
who built his home there in 1839. The beauty of the location 
attracted the better class of early settlers from the East, and 
it was said that in the decade between 1840 and 1850 more 
than half of the prominent men of Fond du Lac County, the 
local aristocracy so to speak, lived in Taycheedah, and many 
of these men were known throughout Wisconsin. The first 
public schoolhouse in the county was built in Taycheedah in 
1842. Governor James D. Doty assisted in the actual work of 
construction, and the school bell, the first ever heard in Fond 
du Lac County, was the gift of Col. Henry Conklin. This bell 
was brought by Colonel Conklin from the dismantled steamer 
Advocate which was wrecked on the Hudson River ; it is in- 
teresting to know that the old bell still calls together the juve- 
nile population of the vicinity. Edgar Conklin was the 
teacher of this pioneer public school, which served the people 
of both Taycheedah and Fond du Lac. On its records were 
inscribed the names of Darling, Conklin, Buggies, Perry, 
Moore, Carlton, and Elliott — families that later became well 
known in Fond du Lac when the business interests of Tay- 
cheedah were transferred to the more promising village at 
the end of the lake. The first general store in Taycheedah, 
opened in 1841, was owned by B. F. Moore and J. T. Moore. 
This store served the entire region northward to Brothertown 
and did a thriving business, the daily cash receipts often run- 
ning as high as several hundred dollars. B. F. Moore later 
became the owner of the La Belle Wagon Works, one of the 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin 


leading manufacturing industries oi Fond du Lac in the 
seventies and eighties. 

A hotel was built in Taycheedah village as early as 1840; 
F. D. McCarty, who was later elected county sheriff, was the 
first landlord. Later this hotel was owned by Xathaniel 
Perry until the old building became inadequate to accommo- 
date the many travelers who came to or passed through the 
village. Mr. Perry then built a much larger hotel. This 
hostelry under the Perry management was known from Green r 
Bay to Chicago for its genuine hospitality and the excellence 
of its meals. The Perry family later moved to Fond du Lac 
where one of the sons, J. B. Perry, was for more than fifty 
years connected with the oldest bank of the city as bookkeeper, 
cashier, president, and chairman of the board of directors. 
He still lives in retirement in Fond du Lac, beloved by the 
thousands of his fellow citizens whom he so courteously served 
and assisted during his long career as a banker. 

While the Taycheedah harbor was never a good landing 
place for any except the smallest craft, it is a fact that the 
first steamboat that ever floated on Lake Winnebago made 
its maiden trip from Taycheedah. This vessel was the 
Manchester, Capt. Stephen Hoteling, master. In 1843 Cap- 
tain Hoteling brought the boat from Buffalo, New York, 
to Taycheedah, where it was overhauled and repaired. For 
a number of years Taycheedah was the southern and Xeenah 
the northern terminus of this steamboat line; Fond du Lafi 
and Oshkosh were intermediate stopping places for the 

In 1850 there were in operation in Taycheedah a large 
flour mill and a sawmill. The foundation of the flour uull 
may still be seen near the lake shore. A tin shop, b dry goodfl 
store, and two blacksmith shops were additional industries of 
the thriving village during the period of its prosperity. 

Colonel William J. Worth (later General Worth of 
Mexican War fame) camped at Taycheedah village in 1840 


W. A. Titus 

with a regiment of regular troops. Mrs. Louisa Parker Sim- 
mons, who was a resident of the vicinity at that time, gives 
in her Pioneer Reminiscences of 1879 a very interesting 
description of the event. Her husband supplied the troops 
with milk and other food luxuries during their brief stay. 

Among the early settlers of Taycheedah village, few had 
the advantages of birth, culture, and education to such a 
degree as did Colonel S. W. Beall and his talented wife whose 
maiden name was Elizabeth Fenimore Cooper. Colonel Beall 
was a native of Maryland and a direct descendant of the Ran- 
dolphs of Virginia, the Carrolls of Carrollton, Maryland, and 
the Singletons of South Carolina. He was educated at Union 
College where he excelled as a classical student. Later he 
studied law and was admitted to the bar. In 1827 he married 
Miss Cooper, who was a niece of James Fenimore Cooper 
and of Governor Morris of New York, and a great-grand- 
daughter of Lewis Morris, one of the signers of the Declara- 
tion of Independence. In 1835 the young lawyer was 
appointed Receiver of Public Lands for Wisconsin and 
Michigan and with his young wife came west and located 
at Green Bay. This appointment was obtained through 
the influence of Chief Justice Roger Taney, who was a close 
friend of the Beall family in Maryland. In 1837 the 
Bealls returned to Cooperstown, New York, where their 
luxurious and hospitable home became the rendezvous for the 
literary celebrities of the time, among whom were Washing- 
ton Irving and James Fenimore Cooper. In 1840 Mr. Beall 
again brought his f amily to Green Bay and two years later 
built a comfortable pioneer home in Taycheedah village where 
he resumed his law practice. With a few temporary inter- 
ruptions, Taycheedah was the home of the Beall family for 
many years. Mr. Beall was chosen a delegate to both consti- 
tutional conventions, the one whose instrument was rejected 
by the people and the one which framed the present consti- 
tution of Wisconsin. In 1850 he was elected lieutenant gov- 

Historic Spots in Wisconsin 


ernor of the newly-formed commonwealth. After his term 
of office expired he went into the Rocky Mountain region, 
largely because of his love of adventure; while on this expe- 
dition he with others located the city of Denver, Colorado. 

When the Civil War broke out, Mr. Beall enlisted as a 
private, although he was at that time fifty-four years of age. 
He was rapidly promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel 
of the Eighteenth Wisconsin Volunteers. Colonel Beall fell 
severely wounded at the battle of Pittsburg Landing but 
recovered sufficiently to reenter the service and was placed in 
command of a prison camp. After the war ended he went 
to Helena, Montana, then a rough border town, where in 
1868 he was shot and killed during a political altercation. 

Mrs. Beall devoted the later years of her life to Christian 
work and to a broad charity that knew neither class nor creed. 
She died in 1879 and is buried in the little Protestant cemetery 
above Taycheedah. The foundations of the old Beall home 
in Taycheedah still remain, but the grounds that surrounded 
the old house are now used as a pasture. 

As before stated, the decline of Taycheedah became ap- 
parent before the Civil War, and nearly all of the old families 
removed to Fond du Lac or elsewhere, taking with them in 
many cases the business in which they had been engaged. The 
site still remains, beautiful as ever, but the glory of the once 
prosperous village has long since departed, and its present 
moribund condition attracts the attention of even the casual 
visitor. However, the lake shore is no longer untenanted, 
for a continuous line of summer homes fringes the water for 
miles, and lake front lots have a value never dreamed of in 
the old days of Taycheedah's prosperity. 


Franklin F. Lewis 

Edward F. Lewis was born July 16, 1821 in Groton, 
New London County, Connecticut, where his early boyhood 
years were lived. When he was nine years old his parents 
moved to Cortland County, New York. Here at the age of 
sixteen he was bound as an apprentice to a shoe manufacturer 
for a term of three years. He had served two years of this 
apprenticeship when in 1839 his father, Abel Franklin Lewis, 
returned from Wisconsin, where he had developed a water 
power and built a sawmill, and announced that he had decided 
to remove with his family into that section. Not wishing to 
leave his son Edward behind, he procured his release from 
the apprenticeship contract by the payment to the master 
shoemaker of one hundred dollars. 

Abel Lewis returned to Wisconsin with his family in the 
spring of 1839, the overland trip having been made with an 
ox team and covered wagon. The water power and mill were 
located on Turtle Creek in what is now known as the town of 
Turtle, Rock County. The mill was on the southern side of 
the creek, the home directly across the creek near the end of 
the bridge which was located at this point. This bridge has 
since been replaced by a steel structure. A year or two later 
the mill was converted into a flour mill. My father has told 
of the hours he tended to the grinding in this mill, often at 
night, when it seemed he could scarcely keep awake. 

Here he was working when Deacon Stephen Barrett with 
his wife and nine daughters came from Ashtabula County, 
Ohio, and settled in Clinton, the adjoining town on the west. 
Of course the young people soon became acquainted. For 
Edward this acquaintance ripened into an engagement of 
marriage with Betsy L. Barrett, the second oldest daughter. 

The Career of Edward F. Lewis 


The wedding ceremony was performed April 19, 1841 by 
Elder Henry Topping of the Baptist Church, of which both 
young people were members. After the wedding feast the 
bridegroom took his bride to the home of his father in Turtle, 
where he had made arrangements to live and continue his work 
in the mill. Here the young people lived for eight years, and 
here their first three children were born to them; the second of 
the three boys died in infancy. 

In the fall of 1848 when the California gold fever was at - 
its height the imagination of the people of the Middle West 
was so stimulated that parties were formed in almost every 
section to make the trip across the plains on the approach of 
the coming spring. Among these enthusiasts was the "Lewis 
Party" as it was later called, which was organized with its 
headquarters in Milwaukee. Mr. Abel Franklin Lewis be- 
came a member of this party and was later elected its captain. 

It will be readily understood that Edward also became 
interested in the project, as the subject was a matter of com- 
mon discussion about the family table. He did become so 
imbued with the spirit of the venture that he proposed to my 
mother that he, too, join in the "quest for the Golden Fleece." 

"Husband," she replied, "You may go if you think best; 
but if you do go, you must take me and the children witli you. 
We cannot be left alone in this strange land." 

My father replied to the effect that they would keep to- 
gether and would establish themselves in a home of their own 
on the Government lands then being opened to settlement in 
the interior of Wisconsin. 

About the first of June the following year, 1849. lie put 
their household goods into a covered wagon and with his wife 
and two little boys, Judson six years old and Stephen ten 
months, with a yoke of oxen at the front for mot Ive power and 
a cow, which my mother's parents had given them, tied at the 
rear to furnish milk by the wayside, they set forth to find thai 
new home which was to be "their very own." 


Franklin F, Lewis 

In due time they arrived at the portage between the Fox 
and the Wisconsin rivers, at the lower end of which stood Fort 
Winnebago. Here my father learned that desirable lands 
could be had northwest of that vicinity so he decided to look 
in that direction. The next afternoon in making the ford 
across the Big Slough, as it was called, about five miles from 
the portage, his wagon became stalled in the middle of the 
stream. He unhitched the oxen and took them to the shore 
he had just left and turned them loose to feed; he then built a 
fire under a large tree at a camping place near by and carried 
mother and the children to the shore where he had decided 
that, by force of circumstances, they must remain over night. 
A flock of blackbirds attracted his attention and taking his 
gun he soon had enough of them to give the whole family a 
blackbird stew for their supper. The following afternoon 
found them on the farther bank of the little stream known as 
Beaver Creek, so called because of a dam the beavers had built 
across the stream, which the little animals were still using. 
That evening as they were preparing their supper a couple 
of teamsters who were returning from the pineries farther 
north stopped near them and asked if they might join them 
in the evening meal. In the morning they insisted upon pay-: 
ing for the service they had received and advised my parents 
to remain where they were and open a wayside hotel for the 
accommodation of the travelers who were passing back and 
forth between the lumber mills farther north and the source 
of their supplies farther south. They called attention to the 
fact that this was one of the favorite camping places on the 

This suggestion was adopted. The wagon box was placed 
on the ground under the tree, and the family made their home 
therein while the contemplated house for home and hotel was 
being built. After six weeks of chopping in the woods near 
by, sufficient logs were cut and prepared for the purpose, and 
a building bee was announced. Invitations were extended to 

The Career of Edward F. Lewis 


the settlers within a radius of five or six miles, and at the 
appointed time the "raising" was begun. Before noon the 
logs were all in place. Lumber and shingles having been pro- 
vided, the roof and floors were soon laid, and the family 
moved into their new home — "their very own." A signpost 
was set up in front and a crescent-shaped crosspiece attached 
to it upon which the name selected had been painted — "The 
Pinery Exchange." Into this home a little more than a year 
later the writer of this article was born. Upon the organiza- 
tion of the township, which was effected November 18, 18.52, 
the name Lewiston was selected in honor of Postmaster Lewis, 
who was the third settler in the town and in whose house the 
meetings preliminary to the organization were held. 

Edward F. Lewis was living in this home in the town of 
Lewiston in the fall of 1856 when he was elected to the office 
of sheriff of Columbia County. The first of the January 
following he entered upon the duties of the office and moved 
his family into the residence portion of the jail building which 
was located in Portage City, the county seat. The main por- 
tion of the building, which was constructed of sandstone 
blocks, was about thirty-eight or forty feet square, two stories 
in height, with a flat roof. In the rear was an annex con- 
taining dining room and kitchen with sleeping rooms above. 
The main entrance was at the center in front. Directly 
opposite this entrance, guarded by a heavy oak door with 
strong locking device, was the stairway leading to the second 
story in which was located the jail proper. In front of the 
entrance door was a porch platform about six feet square from 
which two or three steps led to the ground. 

The location of the jail was at the east side of the city 
overlooking the low grounds comprising the portage between 
the Fox and the Wisconsin rivers; between these riven I canal 
had been constructed and owing to the difference in the level of 
the waters between these rivers locks had born placed at 
either end of the canal to control the flow of water, A Hour 


Franklin F. Lewis 

mill was built just below the lower lock near the Fox River, 
the power to operate it being taken from the head obtained 

Several houses had been erected on the higher ground 
across the river from Fort Winnebago on the south shore. 
One of these houses belonged to Jean Baptiste Dubay, a 
half blood Indian, who lived there with his Indian wife. 
Dubay had located there some years before and opened 
trade with the Indians, the American Fur Company furnish- 
ing him with goods. This house was erected by him under the 
impression that he had the right of "squatter's privilege" to 
claim and occupy the land. 

Later the flour mill was sold to Reynolds and Craigh. 
They commenced erection of another house on land to which 
Dubay felt he had prior right; he therefore made earnest 
protest, but without avail, as the workmen continued with 
their construction. One evening after the workmen had re- 
tired, Dubay took his ax and chopped down the studding that 
had been erected during the day. Mr. Reynolds learned of 
this action and came over immediately to look into the matter. 
He returned to the Dubay home and the two became engaged 
in a heated discussion. Dubay 's wife came out and joined in 
the discussion. Reynolds resented this intrusion and made 
remarks to her which Dubay considered insulting. Dubay 
then went into the house and returning with his gun in his 
hand ordered Reynolds off the premises. Dubay claimed 
Reynolds was under the influence of liquor and that a piece of 
board which he had in his hand was raised in a threatening 
manner. The gun was then fired, killing Reynolds instantly. 
Dubay went back into his house and closed the door; but no 
one ventured to follow him. 

My father's version of the continuation of the affair was 
substantially as follows: 

One evening as I was sitting on the steps in front of the 
jail a wagonload of men came from the city and called to me 

The Career of Edward F. Lewis 


as they drove rapidly by the jail: "Dubay has shot Reynolds 
and we are going out to lynch him !" My team, attached to a 
light buggy, stood at the hitching post near the corner of the 
building; into the seat I sprang and drove rapidly to the scene 
of the shooting, passing the other men on the way. I found 
a crowd of people about the house, Dubay being inside. 
Entering at once I told Dubay to hurry with me to avoid the 
mob that was coming out to lynch him. He seemed glad to 
accompany me; and the men at the door offered no hindrance. 

My own team being winded by the fast drive out, I com- 
mandeered a rig standing near, helped Dubay, who was a very 
large man weighing over three hundred pounds, into the 
buggy, and taking the tie strap in my hand ran along ahead of 
the horse, not daring to trust the rig to carry the two of us. 
The road which I had decided to take was only a wheel track 
along the north side of the canal; it had never been worked 
and was so rough I was sure that the men of the mob would 
not try to follow us. It was direct, however, and considerably 
shorter than the regular road on the south side ; by taking this 
road I had planned to avoid meeting the mob that was bent 
on lynching my prisoner. 

We hurried in this way as best we might till the buggy 
broke down under the excessive strain; then we ran side by 
side, reaching the jail safely. Hurrying up the stairway I 
locked my prisoner in an inner cell, locked the door to the outer 
cell room, ran down the stairs, closed the door at the foot, and 
was just in time to close and lock the outer door behind me and 
turn and face the angry mob as it approached the steps. For 
when they reached the scene of the shooting and saw that their 
quarry had flown and by what route, they sprang into their 
wagon and hurried back the way they had come, hoping to 
intercept me at the bridge crossing the canal near the jail. 

As I turned the key in the door behind me and laced the 
mob of madly excited men whose one thought was to avenge 
the violent death of a fellow cifrzen and friend by a (feed of 


Franklin F. Lewis 

even greater violence on their part — a reversal to a condition 
of lawlessness in concerted action — with the thought in mind 
of responsibility to my prisoner as well as the protection of 
society against its own self, I undertook to speak to the men 
before me: But Mason, the leader, shouted to his followers, 
saying, "Come on, boys; let's finish our job!" and started for 
the door at my back. As he reached the porch level he put out 
his arm to brush me aside. I had in my right coat pocket the 
pair of handcuffs I had taken with me to the arrest of Dubay; 
involuntarily these were in my hand and I gave him a blow 
on the side of the head which knocked him back into the crowd. 

Then, in the lull which followed I addressed the men say- 
ing, "Men, do you realize what you would do? This man, 
Dubay, is defenseless ; he is under the care of the law. It is 
my duty to protect him to the full extent of my power and 
to call upon every one of you as law-abiding citizens to aid 
me in the discharge of this responsibility which you yourselves 
have placed upon me. I implore you as you value the peace 
and protection of society for yourselves and for your families 
that you go quietly to your homes." I further called their 
attention to the fact that my wife was lying in the room at 
their left with a babe scarcely twenty-four hours old. I urged 
them, as they loved their own, to give heed to the urgency of 
the situation. 

The greater part of them did retire, but a number remained 
about the building all night. The next day, leaving a guard 
at the jail, I went to town to call a posse to aid me in the 
further discharge of my duty as custodian of the peace of the 
community; I also secured a half bushel of revolvers and a 
number of guns. 

While making these arrangements my friend Mason, of 
the evening before, addressed me saying, "What are you go- 
ing to do with these?" 

I replied that I intended to protect to the full extent of 
my ability those whom the law had placed in my keeping. 

The Career of Edward F. Lewis 

He said, "You don't mean you would go so far as to use 
these on your friends?" 

I replied that I certainly would do so if the occasion re- 
quired it. I further said it was very lucky for him that I did 
not have one of these weapons in my hand when he approached 
me as he did last night. 

These weapons and a number of long-handled pitchforks 
were taken to the jail. Ugly rumors were in circulation that 
made it obligatory upon me to prepare against extreme 
emergency. A number of men were sworn into service as ' 
special deputies ; and a force was kept on guard in the jail day 
and night till the excitement had passed away. Guards with 
weapons in their hands were maintained on both first and 
second floors of the building as well as upon the roof. The 
long-handled pitchforks were to be used to throw down scal- 
ing ladders should any such be set against the building. 

Word came to me later that after I had made the plea to 
the mob the leaders held a consultation and decided that they 
must give attention to the extreme family situation men- 
tioned; that when Dubay came to trial he would have to be 
taken to the court room and that would be their time to get 

As I remember my father's version of the appearance of 
Dubay in court it was as follows: 

The trial of Dubay was listed on the calendar of our court 
for its fall session. I arranged with the judge that informa- 
tion should not be given the public of the day Dubay would 
appear before the court to answer to the charge against him 
and to make his plea thereto. 

Upon the date arranged I took Dubay and with I ooupk 
of deputies as guards we entered a closed carriage and W( R 
driven by a circuitous route to the court building. I >>n OUT 
entrance into the court room several men arose to go nut ; but 
they were stopped by deputies whom I had placed in the room 


Franklin F. Lewis 

with orders that no one should be allowed to leave the room 
or to pass any signals through the windows while Dubay was 

He was presented to the court, the charge against him was 
read, and his plea made. He was then hurried into the car- 
riage and rapidly driven back to the jail, where he was held 
pending the issue of the trial. I have no remembrance of a 
second trial. There is, however, an impression in my mind 
of arrangements for getting Dubay to the state prison at 
Waupun ; this impression may have been due to certain plans 
my father had developed through which to get Dubay safely 
to Waupun in the event of prison sentence having been pro- 
nounced against him. However, Dubay was finally acquitted. 

At the close of my father's term of office as sheriff he 
engaged in mercantile trade in Portage; after two years he 
closed out this business and went back to his homestead in 
Lewiston. During the Civil War he served as deputy provost 
marshal. Of the trying times of those days he used to relate 
many incidents that were full of human interest. In 1870 
he virtually founded the business later known as the Lewis 
Knitting Company. 

Mr. Lewis died in his old homestead in Lewiston in 1885. 
By his ready comprehension of situations about him, his 
capacity to adapt himself to meet them, and through the 
sterling qualities of his character he commanded the respect 
and esteem of those who knew him. This is evidenced by the 
fact that there was scarcely a year in all his residence in the 
county when his name did not appear upon the official list of 
town or county. He was a worthy representative of that 
pioneer element which laid the foundation for the present 
success and prosperity of our state. 




June 2 d One year since I left Newfane, Vermont — at that time little 
did I think of wandering thus far — Where I shall be one year from 
this, God only knows — whether in time, or in Eternity ! What an 
awful thought — Yet true it is, my journey through time is already 
commenced — the distance of the way is unknown to me; but the 
valley of Death I must surely pass, and then comes a never ending 
Eternity ! 

A boat arrives from St. Louis — Lt. (now Cap 1 .) Hickman arrives, 
and takes the command here — Col. Chambers starts immediately for 
Bell-Fontaine — 

June 3 d Mr- Shaw arrives with a boat laden with whiskey, Pecans, &C. 
June 4 th A third boat arrives, heavy laden 

June 5 th A hard shower with thunder and lightning, last night — a 
fourth arrival from St. Louis — Whiskey being plenty, drunken 
people are, likewise — 

June 7 th Sabbath — horseracing and boxing are the order of the 
June 8 th Very warm — Mosketoes begin to be troublesome — a canoe 
arrives from Mackinaw in 10 days — brings no news worth remark- 

June 10 th Several boats start for Mackinaw — forward a letter to 
D r Peters- 
June 11 th A remarkable heavy shower last night, thunder and light- 
ning — morning cool and pleasant — mid day another shower — mv 
house leaky — it stands about 8 feet higher than the brink of the 
river and 6 rods therefrom — 

June 14 th Sabbath — the militia muster several delinquents tried bj 
a court-martial — I have not been called upon yet Mr. Nathaniel 
Shaw starts on his [trip] to the state of Newyork— e\j>< et s to p m 
through Ellicott — 

Continued from the March issue. For a short account <>f this journal 
The Wisconsin Magazine of History, III, 2G8-70. 



June 15 th Green Peas and ripe strawberries — Evning — a large 
Schooner like boat comming in under sail — said to be 80 or 100 tons 
burthen — 

June 19 th Rolette starts for Mackinaw — Write to D r . Peters — we 
have his buisness, to appearance, in a favorable way — 
June 21* Sabbath — very warm — Indians dancing through the streets 
this is common — they are mostly naked except a breech clout — and 
painted all colours 

June 28 th Sabbath — Refreshing wind A fleet of Winnibago Canoes 
arrive — from the "Wisconsin" — they encamp on the island opposite 
the town — 

June 29 th high wind and cool — 

" 30 th General muster of the troops the Winnibagoes have a 
screaming dance or powwow through the streets 
Eve — Lt. Armstrong returns from St. Louis — 

July the fourth — Anniversary of American Independence, announced 
by the discharge of Cannon — the troops march out and fire a Federal 
Salute by plattoons — they make a handsome appearance — the French 
citizens refuse to celebrate the day, saying it is no holiday for them — 
which draws many reproaches on them by the Americans — 
July 5 th Sabbath — Commence boarding with Mr St. Cyre — very 
warm weather 

July 7 th Remove my school to M r . Johnsons store — 
July 9 th Lt- Shade starts for Bell Fontaine 

July 11 th Yesterday and today uncommonly warm — the mercury in 
Mr- Johnsons thermometer arose to 103 and 104 a band of Souix 
Indians come in, and dance what is called the "Buffaloe dance" they 
wear on their heads large Buffaloe pates with the horns, and shaggy 
wool or hair more a foot long giving them a hedios appearance 
July 12 th Sabbath — rather cooler — some wind thunder and appear- 
ance of rain — 

July 13 Lt. Fields starts from hence — there is but two commissioned 
officers left, and about one hundred and fifty men 
July 25 th two months since I began school have about 20 pupils- 
several who have subscribed have never sent — not considering they 
are obligated to pay their subscription 
July 26 Sabbath Cucumbers for the first time 

Life in Wisconsin One Hundred Years Ago 445 

" 28 th Rise early and go into the river to bathe, practice it twice 
or thrice a week 

July 30 th Remove to the schoolhouse, just finished it stands about 
12 reds back of the main street — people begin to harvest their wheat 
August l l Several showers of rain, my new habitation roof leaky — 
speend my leisure hours in reading borrowed books or Newspapers — ■ 
Sabbath morn — August 2 d Rise at Revilee about day break — pro- 
ceed to the river and bathe — read in the Bible till Breakfast — Walk 
into the country to Mr Ayrds mill Mr Andrews has it nearly ready 
for running — Eve — read the Scriptures — O! that one spark of 
heavenly love might kindle in my breast the flame of pure devotion 
Aug. 6 th Rise at day break — had a tremendous shower last night — 
thunder and lightni[n]g remarkably sharp and heavy — sudden 
change in the weather from hot to cold. . . . People are in anxious 
expectation of boats from Mackinaw 

Aug. 8 th Being Saturday keep school but half of the day — clouday 
and rainy — dull times at present — 

Aug. 9 th Sabbath Pleasant and Cool — Gambling, horseracing and 
dancing are the order of the day 

How frail is human Nature! when we resolve to be pure before God, 
then quickly comes some vice or earthly vanity, breaks the specious 
charm of virtue and shews our real character 

Sabbath Eve. finish reading my Bible through by course, which I 

commenced just one year and three months before 

Aug 10 th People are very busy in harvesting 

Aug. 13 th A Boat from St Louis — for mr- Botillia 2 — A few Newi 


Aug. 16 th Sabbath — Borrow some Newspapers of Mr Boilvin,'' 
Indian Agt. Read in the Western Monitor several Pieces of Reli- 
gious inteligence calculated to awaken the stupid sences to the con- 
cerns of immortality — 

a Francois Bouthillier, an early resident of Prairie du Chien, In 1819 be WU 
an associate judge of Crawford County. In 1832 he removed to Fever (Gakaaj 

8 Nicolas Boilvin, a native of Canada, came to Spanish Louisiana In IT14 
In 1806" he was appointed assistant Indian affeni to the S ink at the n< Moinj 
Rapids of the Mississippi; two years later he removed to Prairie du ( Men to 
assume the duties of John Campbell, agent at thai place, who had been UUed ■ 
a duel. In the War of 1812 Boilvin sided with the Americans, for wtdCO OMTM 
he was forced temporarily to abandon Prairie du Chien. But for tin, mt.-M , 
he resided there until his death in 1827. 



Aug. 17 th Maj- Morgan 4 arrives and assumes the comand of this 

Aug. 19 th Mr Findleys 5 boat arrives 

Aug. 21* — Another Canoe from Mackinaw Mr Henly of St. Louis — 
Aug. 20 th Cool morning — Mr Warner arrives in a canoe from 

99 23 d — Sabbath — five or six Indian trading boats from Mack- 
inaw — they immediately proceed for St Louis, and intend going up 
the "Missouri" river 

Aug. 24 th three months since I commenced school keeping — conclude 
to keep a few days longer, as some of the inhabitants are anxious to 
make arrangements for the continuence of the school — 
Aug. 27 th Finish my school this day 

" 28 th After Breakfast, Walk into the country — two men in 
company with me having their fowling pieces for diversion of shoot- 
ing birds, happened to fire within a short distance of the fort — were 
overtaken by a serjt. and file of men, and taken to the fort, for vio- 
lating a late order prohibiting any one firing within 600 yards of the 
garrison — they were soon released and rejoined me — in high spirits 
about their frolic 

Aug. 30 th Sabbath — One year since I arrived at Prairie du Chien — 
How differently does the Past appear, when viewed in contrast with 
what our flattering hopes had taught us to expect from the Future ! — 
This, was full of high hopes and expectations— That, is plain reality, 
in which we behold few transactions worthy of being remembered, and 
fewer that have equaled the anticipations of our fertile imagina- 
tions — still we continue in the same pursuit of ideal happiness — 
Disappointed in one object, our fertile minds fix upon another equally 
fallacious, and pursue it with equal ardor, till some fairer phantom, 

4 Major Willoughby Morgan was a native of Virginia who entered the army 
in 1812. At the close of the war he took over Mackinac from the British and com- 
manded it for a few months. In the summer of 1816 he commanded the detach- 
ment of troops which reoccupied Prairie du Chien and began the construction 
of the first Fort Crawford. Here he was relieved by Colonel Chambers early 
in 1817, but returned later as noted in the diary. Most of his remaining years 
were passed as commander at Fort Crawford, where he died in April, 1832. He 
was succeeded by Colonel Zachary Taylor, of Mexican War and presidential fame. 

5 Probably John L. Findley, who had been engaged at Prairie du Chien as 
sutler's clerk and as an independent trader. He was made clerk of the court 
on the organization of Crawford County in 1818. In 1821 he was killed by Indians 
in the vicinity of Lake Pepin. 

Life in Wisconsin One Hundred Years Ago 447 

seizes our imagination, or till it comes to naught. All the human 

race are naturaly inclined to seek for happiness. But many, very 

many continue through life "grasping at a shadow and in the end 

lose the substance" 

"How vain are all things here below, 

"How false, and yet how fair ; 

"Each pleasure hath its poison too, 

"And every sweet a snare. 

"The brightest things below the sky 

"Give but a flattering light ; 

"We should suspect some danger nigh, 

"When we possess delight." — Watts — 

September 1* Engage to work for a few days with Mr. Mann 
[Munn?] 6 house carpenter. 

Sept. 2 d Four boats from Mackinaw — 2, intending to go up the 
St. Peters river the other 2 down the Mississippi — 
Sept. 6 th Sabbath — A meeting for religious worship at the school- 
house Exercises performed by the reverend Mr- Mann — his text 
from the last chap, of St. Mark "Go ye into all the world and preach 
the gospel to every creature; he that believeth and is baptised shall 
be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned !["] — the first 
meeting of the kind I have attended since I left Newfane — 
Sept. 10 th Commence boarding with Mr. Mann, $20 per month, he 
is about opening an American tavern in this place 
Boats arriving daily from Mackinaw, — no news — 
Sept. 11 Mr Forsyth 7 Indian Agent for the Misouri territory ar- 
rives — also a Mr Tanner in search of a brother 8 who has been 88 
years among the Indians — being taken when 9 years old 

8 Of this man we have learned nothing other than the items presented by 
Keyes in the diary before us. From these it appears that he was ■ pieachef ^ 
well as a carpenter. He went with Keyes down river in 1819 and MitlM to bmft 
located at Clarksville, Missouri. 

'Thomas Forsyth was Indian agent at Fort Armstrong (now Rock 
Illinois) from 1819 to 1830. Back of the earlier date lay a long period of credit- 
able activity on the Northwestern frontier. Forsyth was a half brother of JofaB 
Kinzie of Chicago, and from 1803 to 1812 the two wen putBUtj Kin;..- vMfc 
headquarters at Chicago, Forsyth at Peoria. 

8 This was John Tanner, one of the most broffk figures in the history 0< thr 
Northwest. About the close of the Revolution a Chippewa squaw In th< Sagtn ■ 
River region lost a son. To quiet her grief, her husband led I raiding partj tfl 
Kentucky and there stole young Tanner, a boy of nine yrars. and prrsrntrd him 



Sept. 12 th Read late newspapers at mr Johnsons 
Sept. 13 th Sabbath Attend meeting — very few of the French at- 
tend — as their "Catholic" Priests have made them believe it is certain 
damnation, to go [to] a "heritic" meeting 
Sept. 14 th Rolette returns from Mackinaw with two boats — 
Sept. 17 th Afflicted with the tooth ache Mrs- Mann trys to draw 
my tooth without effect — apply various remedies to no purpose 
Sept. 19 th the surgeon in the garrison makes three fruitless attempts 
to extract my troublesome tooth — each time was like the shock of a 
little earthquake — he then attempts to burn the marrow — but all to 
no purpose, it will ache — 

Sept. 22 d — Agree to work one week for Mr Ayrd, at tending his new 
horse mill lately put in opperations with two run of stones — 
Sept. 27 th Sabbath — Meeting as usual 

" 29 th Walk out to Roletts mill (formerly Shaws) Mr An- 
drews is hanging a new pair of stones — they appear likely to do 
considerable buisness — 

Sept 30 th Out of business at present — am calculating to try one 
hard winters work in getting lumber from the Pinery provisions 
scarce is one obstacle to my undertaking — 

Oct. 1* have cured my tooth ache by filling the hollow with cotton — 
Oct 3 d Cold, and high wind 

Oct. 4 thi — Sabbath — Meeting at the schoolhouse as usual — but few 
people attend, except soldiers, who behave very orderly and decent — 

to his wife as a substitute for the child who had died. Notwithstanding the 
motive for the abduction, the child was fearfully abused by his captors and 
eventually was sold to an Ottawa squaw near Petoskey. By her he was kindly 
treated and with her migrated to the Red River country. Here he lived for many 
years, his presence being noted by several travelers from 1801 on. He performed 
some useful service for Lord Selkirk in the latter's contest with the Northwest 
Company, and when Selkirk visited the United States in 1817 he proceeded to 
advertise for Tanner's white relatives. As a result the long lost relative was 
found and returned to civilization. But he had become too thorough an Indian in 
habit and breeding ever to be at home among the whites. After a stormy career 
at Mackinac and Sault Ste. Marie he disappeared in 1846 as mysteriously as when 
stolen from his parents in boyhood. The brother of Henry R. Schoolcraft was 
assassinated from ambush, and at the same time Tanner's hut (where he lived 
alone) was found burned and its owner missing. A vigorous search was made for 
him on the supposition that he had committed the murder, but he was never found. 
Years later an officer of the garrison at Fort Brady, who had directed his men 
in the search for Tanner, confessed on his deathbed that he himself had been the 
assassin. Tanner was known as the "white Indian." Dr. Edwin James wrote his 
life story, Narrative of the Captivity and Adventures of John Tanner (New York, 

Life in Wisconsin One Hundred Years Ago 449 

Oct. 5 th Walk into the country — take a range on some of the high 
hills — have a beautiful prospect of the Prairie and adjacent Missis- 
sippi — gather a few hickory nuts and return — 
Oct. 6 th Spend the day in writing and reading — 
Oct 25 th Sabbath — the Weather warm and dry — high wind — the 
fires are performing their accustomed autumnal rout over the hills — 
have been engaged some time in small jobs of Carpenter work, and 
neglected j ournalizing — 
Oct 28 th Birth Day — 

26 years have rolled away since first I drew the vital air ! and what 
has been the result, may with propriety be asked? Surely 26 years 
must have produced something worthy of remembrance. — To pursue 
the question, What have I been aiming at these many years ? or have 
I run thus far at random without an end in view! Nature, Reason 
and Revelation, all tell me I had my Being from some Superior 
Power; he has placed me here on Earth — and for a limited time is 
certain from what I see of others of my fellow mortals who are daily 
quitting the stage of action ! — He has endowed me with Reason, 
which is a certain proof I am intended for some end, superior to that 
of the Brute Creation — 

I will now take a retrospect of the 26 years (and perhaps the greatest 
part) of my life; that have flown to Eternity — 
I was born among the ruged mountains of Vermont — whose robust, 
inhabitants are mostly cultivators of the soil they posess in inde- 
pendence and peace — 

Where Luxury and Dissipation, those deadly foes of Religion and 
Liberty are hardly known — 

My Father removed from Shrewsbury Mass. to Newfane Vt. about 
the year 1788 and entered on a small farm entirely now, and a w2 
as rough and heavy timbered as most any of the Vermonl mountain* 
produce; but by industry and perseverance, has succeeded in bring- 
ing it under a tolerable state of cultivation, and frith the productl 
thereof, has been enabled to support a numerous family, and bring 
them up in habits of soberness and industry. 

Being thus erly accustomed to look upon labour as no disgrace, but 
rather a necessary Blessing for the promotion of hea 1th and happinea 
I was contented to toil with unremitin^ diligence towardl acquiring 



a livelihood. The country being new I had but a slender chance of 
getting instruction at school ; however I was erly taught that learn- 
ing was better than riches, that without an Education I should be 
liable to repeated embarrassments, and must expect to rank among 
the dregs of Society. These erly precepts ; and a natural disposition 
thereto, excited me to learning and reading soon became my ruling 
passion — I read with avidity all kinds of books, but those of mere 
amusement engrossed my chief attention — indeed I indulged myself 
to excess, and every leisure moment was occupied in poring over some 
musty author — 

at 8 years of age I was put to reading the Bible, but by frequent 
delays it was 4 years before I finished it. At 11 years of age I lost 
my mother, a misfortune I was too young to realize in its full extent. — 
My memory still retains many a useful precept I learnt from her lips ; 
She was a professor of Religion, and, as I hope and trust, a sincere 
Christian. — 

Days, and weeks, and years glided away with little variation ; reading 
continued to be my chief delight which rendered me more dull than 
otherwise, in company with my juvenil companions — I generaly 
attended Christian Worship every Sabbath; but the pious impres- 
sions there made were mostly transcient, and soon gave place to 
visionary schemes of worldly happiness In my 20 th year I was 
drafted from the militia to hold myself in readiness to march at a 
moments warning, in consequence of the war between American and 
Britian Orders soon came for us to proceed to the frontiers, but 
the war being unpopular ; this was considered as an artifice to wheedle 
the militia into Canada, to assist in the conquest — therefore most of 
the men chose to risque the consequenc and abide at home — 
Although I was naturaly of a quiet disposition, yet I was pleased 
with the prospect of seeing the world as I thought, (having scarcely 
been ten miles from home before). I resolved to go, my friends sup- 
posing it to be a gone case with me; not expecting I should ever 
return, however, after nine days tedious march we arrived at Bur- 
lington Vt. on the east side of Champlain Lake, where we encamped 
3 weeks then crossed the Lake to Plattsburg N. Y. and remaind 4 
weeks, from from thence we removed to Champlain near Canada line, 
we were soon joined by about 6 or 8000 regular troops. — Both threats 

Life in Wisconsin One Hundred Years Ago 451 

and flattery were tried in vain, to induce the militia to assist in carry- 
ing war, and devastation among the inhabitants of Canada the 

regulars soon after returned to winter quarters and the militia were 
disbanded. From this little excursion I returned well sated with 
military Honor, and was happy to again enjoy the sweets of a 
rural life 

On the 28 th of Oct. 1813 I arrived at 21 years of age. I then con- 
sidered I was just commencing to act for myself, — the wide world 
was before me, and though I had long anticipated this day, and in 
imagination planned many a scheme for wealth and fame, I found the 
road not so smooth and easy as I had imagined. — The ensuing winter 
I engaged to teach the school in my native village, — the ensuing 
spring I went to Northfield, Mass. and hired to a farmer, but not 
liking my situation I soon returned, and farmed for an old neighbor — 
in the winter I again commenced school keeping this was irksome 
business, but not so laborious as farming — 

on the first day of April 1815 I made an unfortunate blow with an 
axe and split my left foot this disabled me for four months and at 
times is still troublesome in Sept. I agreed with a Clothier to serve 
two seasons of four months each to learn the art of dying and dress- 
ing woollen cloth — in January I again commenced my school in the 
same district as formerly — 

the following summer, 1817 [1816], I hired at farming in a neigh- 
boring town, the succeeding winter I completed my apprenticeship 
at the Clothing business, and in the latter part taught school as usual 
two months in an adjoining town — 

I began to grow tired of the way I had passed my time for several 
years — to work hard for other people, and gain little — I had Hal 
tered myself with the hope of gaining a little property, anil ing myself 
with an amiable female, and enjoying the unrivaled pleasures of I 
rural and domestic life. The prospect of a profitable employment 
was precarious, all kinds of business seemed at a stand in this litnsv 
tion of affairs I bid adieu to the [some words crossed out here] and 
my other friends and connections and started on the journey With 
which this journal commences — 

Nov. 15 th Sabbath, It has been remarkable pleasant for ram time 

past. — Mr Mann discontinues preaching for the presei 



A boat arrives from St Louis, for the Sutler — 

Nov. 18 th Work for Mr Ajrd making a bolting chest — Mr- Botillia 
arrives from St Louis lost his boat on the rapids of the river 
Du Moine with considerable property for himself and others — 
Nov 22 d Sabbath — A Funeral on the death of Madam La Point 9 — 
ceremonies performed in the Roman Catholic form — 
Nov. 26 th Continue working at Ayrds mill — Pleasant for the 
season — 

Nov 27 th Ride to town in the evening — about a dozen recruits or 
reenlisted soldiers frolicking on their bounty money of 6 dollars 
per mon — 

Nov. 30 th Take my gun and go a hunting find no game — explore 
Prairie de Souix one or two handsome farms might be cultivated 
here — Cut my name on a small oak at the upper end of the Prairie 
opposite a high bluff of rocks it being the extent of my travels up 
the Missisipi — 

Dec. 1 Remove to town — Commence boarding with Mr. Findly 15 
dollars per month 

Dec. 4 th Snow fell about one inch the first this season — 
Dec. 5 th Pleasant — 

Dec. 6 th Sabbath — Cold and windy ice floating down the Missippi 

in large quantities — 

Dec. 7 tn the river frozen over 

Dec 22 Commences snowing — at night snow about 3 inches deep 
Dec. 23 Cloudy moderate weather 

Dec. 25 th Christmas — Observed by the people as a religious day — 
some as a drunken day — 

Dickson and Music arrive with a large drove of cows and oxen — 
recieve a letter from Shaw — in the evening, get entangled with com- 
pany at the tavern, who have a drinking frolic — Findly breaks his 
jaw and that breaks up the scrape 

Dec 26 th have entered into engagements with M c . Nair. 10 to go to the 

8 This was Josette Antaya, wife of Charles La Pointe, a pioneer of Prairie 
du Chien. Her father, Pierre Antaya, was one of the founders of Prairie du Chien, 
locating there in 1781. Her mother was a woman of the Fox tribe. 

10 Apparently Thomas McNair, who had come to Prairie du Chien in the 
capacity of clerk in the sutler's store of his uncle, Alexander McNair of Missouri, 
who was later (1820-24) to become first governor of the state of Missouri. The 
younger McNair married a daughter of one of the French residents of Prairie du 
Chien, whereupon the uncle is said to have concluded his business was not being 
attended to with sufficient assiduity and sent out Wilfred Owens to take charge 
of it. 

Life in Wisconsin One Hundred Years Ago 453 

pinrj of Black river to cut lumber he furnishes himself and one 
man I furnish my self and an horse — 

January 1* 1819 a day of feasting and revelry among all ranks of 
people — it is the custom with the French to salute the females with 
a kiss, the males by a shake of the hands, to signify that they bury 
old animosities and make friends — 

January 7 th 1819 Start for Black river — 7 trains or sleds with one 
horse to each and 15 men in company, part are indian traders, the 
others are going to cut pine timber — my horse proves refractory in 
starting but after getting on the ice he goes well — encamp 3 miles 
from town when part of our company go back to get ready, and take 
a fair start — 

Jan 8 th — Our company rejoins us and we start in good season — the 

snow is about 3 inches deep, but thawing the ice is good 

Jan 9 th Before night the snow is mostly converted into water and 

runing top of the ice — however we make a good days travel — 

Jan. 10 th Sabbath — the water about 2 inches deep on top of the ice — 

proceed with caution, and pass with difficulty several places where 

the river is open — 

Jan 11 th Change in the weather, cold the ice clear and smooth — 
drive briskly — enter Black river about 90 or 100 miles from Prairie 
du Chien drive a few miles on Black river, and we find a place open — 
encamp — 

Jan. 12 th Hold a consultation how to proceed, after searching some- 
time drag our loads y 2 mile on bare ground, find ice and by shifting 
and turning arrive at Morans trading house — 

Jan. 13 th Spend most of the day in cutting trees & stubs that will 
probably obstruct our rafts in the spring — the traders go no farther 
with us — we proceed a short distance 

Jan. 14 th Drive briskly all day — the ice smooth and good — the 
weather severe — 

Jan. 15 th Start early — getting .impatient to find good pine 1 
enough that is not good — 

Jan 16 th Make Black river falls about noon — after searching wme 
time, conclude to retrace our steps 2 or 3 miles to a noble pinry but 
some distance from the river examine the situation of the place, 
and, commence cutting timber for our cabin — 



Jan 17 th Sabbath. Build our house commences snowing near 
night — 

Jan 18 th "Cache" or conseal part of our provision to prevent the 
Indians robing us — prepare to enter the pinery tomorrow — 
Jan. 19 th Snowing — Commence cutting pine — the parties are three 
as follows 1* Lupiere, St. Martin, DuPlisie and Charlow — 2 d Bau- 
ritt and Seymore — 3 McNair, Spaniel and myself — 
Jan. 20 th Select the best and streightest pine, and hew it square 
from 12 to 15 inches — the longest we intend cutting is 27% feet 
the other lengths 12% or 25 feet 

Jan. 24 th Sabbath Agree not to work on Sunday — the hired men 
work for themselves 

Jan. 26 th A party of four men arrive to cut timber for Rolette 
Jan 27 th Greene, a frenchman, starts for Prairie du Chien — 
Roletts men commence cutting timber — we object to to their falling 
any, among ours that is down 

Jan. 29 th Mc Nair hunts today and kills a Buck. 
Jan. 30 th we cut timber near the first rapids 

Jan. 31*. Sabbath Early in the morning take a range to the east- 
ward see some good pines, nothing else of importance — 
Mc Nair and myself go up to the falls — about 3 miles, I judge the 
river decends in 20 rods 25 or 30 feet — We searched out a seat 
for a sawmill — put our names the day year and native place on a 
piece of lead, placed it under a stone at the foot of a tree cut the 
initials of our names on the tree &C — and returned 
Feb 2 d Pleasant weather — Write to Mr. Findley by one of Rolets 
men who starts to morrow for the prairie 

Feb. 4 th Cloudy and rainy — Evening fair and pleasant — Walk out 
and survey the beauty of the Heavens — the moon is little past the 
first q r — the stars bright and sparkling — in contemplating the won- 
derful works of Creation, the mind is soon overwhelmed in infinite 
variety, and endless extent, and returns unsatisfied to ruminate on 
things within its reach — My thoughts are turned to my native 
home, — I fancy my fathers family sitting in a circle around a Cheer- 
ful fire Oh what happiness should I enjoy to return once more and 
see them thus in health, and in the paths of Virtue — But alas ! thou- 
sands of miles intervene and a thousand obstacles may obstruct my 

Life in Wisconsin One Hundred Years Ago 455 

wishes — My hope is in the mercy and goodness of God — my heart is 
stuborn and rebelious but my sincere and earnest prayer to God is, 
that he would soften and subdue it to his holy will, through the merits 
of my Redeemer, Jesus Christ — 

Feb. 5 th Have a misunderstanding and high words with Mc. Nair 
who denys one bargin and wants to make another more to his own 
interest — however we compromise the matter in the evening — 
Feb. 6 th appearance of colder weather — an Indian and his squaw 
comes to our camp they beg some corn and promise to hunt 
Feb 7 th Sabbath — Warm and rainy — the most uncomon weather I 
ever recolect for the time of year — no snow and the ground thawing — 
Feb. 8 th Snow in the morning — it soon dissolves — clears off warm — 
A gang of Winibago Indians arrive and encamp near us — they are 
begging and wanting to trade — tell them we have nothing to give or 
to sell but they must hunt for a living, as we work for ours, however 
we give them somthing to eat 

Feb. 13 th No snow — gear our horses and try to haul timber one 
horse proves contrary — beat him severely — 

Feb. 14 th Sabbath — Snow last night 3 or 4 inches — Mc Nair kills 
a deer the indians kill 3 — 

Feb. 16 th More snow — hire Seymour to haul with my horse — 
Feb. 18 th finish hauling for the present 
Feb 19 th Snow falls about 6 inches 

Feb 21* Sabbath — Pleasant — lay the bottom of our raft — 
Feb 27 Finished hauling all we have hewed. 
Feb 28 th Sabbath Snows 3 inches — Pleasant 
March 1* Severe Cold — saw shingles tuff — 

March 2 d Colder — Commence making a skiff of two large trees more 
than 3 feet through — our indian neighbors leave us. 
March 3 d Snows all day attempt hauling our skiff trees but find 
them too heavy 

March 5 th Snows very fast — work at shingles 

March ^ th 2 months since we left Prairie du Chien — Bquallj 
weather — 

March 21* Sabbath, for three or four days past it hafl been most 
severe cold weather — indeed it has been cold and snowy mosi of the 
time since March commenced — snow is about 20 inches 



March 24 th Moderate weather, bind up 7 thousand shingles — com- 
mences snowing before night — 

March 28 th Sabbath Snow about 2 inches last night — very pleas- 
ant saw a Robin symptoms of returning spring — the men are all 
at work making Canoes or paddles — I turn out and cut 9 setting poles 
have hard work in hacking them through the snow 
Sabbath Eve. Clouds up — thunder, Lightning rain and hail — 
March 29 th Snow and blustering weather Roletts men coming short 
of provision 2 of them start for a trading house of his to get some — 
March 30 th Set fire to our tarpit. 

" 31* Our pit burst out in the night which made us scamper in 
our flaps, cold as it was 
April l* South wind — warm — 

April 3 d Work hard loading our raft three men to help us — pros- 
pect of the river breaking soon 

April 9 th The Catholic french observe a fast in remembrance of the 
Crucifixion of our Saviour — we the Americans join with them in 
observeing the fast. 
Ice floating — and the river rising 

April 10 Rainy till noon — the wind shifts N. W. — Geese Ducks and 
pigeons plenty 

April ll tlx Sabbath this day is kept sacred by the french in remem- 
ber an ce of the Resurection of our Saviour Jesus Christ 
April 12 th Pleasant — ready to start only wait for high water and 
the rest of our company to get ready 

April 13 th Start our raft and move them down a mile or 2 to anchor 
in deeper water encamp on board them at night — 
April 14 th Our Company all ready, 8 rafts in number — start about 
10 oclock AM. run 2 or 3 miles, and we have the misfortune to run 
our raft on an island in a very bad situation — as we had previously 
agreed to assist each other in trouble, they all stopped as soon as 
posible, and came to our assistance — take our raft in 3 pieces and 
with much hard lifting in the water as cold as it could be without 
freezing we succeed in getting off — before night two other rafts run 
aground — 

April 15 th The river rising the rafts fast yesterday one got off 
without much difficulty — Roletes men leave 2 of their rafts — Mc Nair 

Life in Wisconsin One Hundred Years Ago 457 

undertakes to manage our small raft, Spaniole and myself manage 
the other two together, we outfloat all the other rafts — rainy — stop 
before night on account of their hallooing from behind 
April 16 th Start early — go pretty well with constant rowing till 
near night when we strike several times with violence against the 
shore which shatters our raft Bauritt sticks on a sawyer and is 
obliged [to] leave a part of his raft — after much trouble we anchor 
in a good harbour — it rains hard — build up our shelter, cook our 
supper and go to sleep contentedly. 

April 17 th Cold and wet — commences snowing — the river rose only 
one inch last night — overtake Bauritt who parted his cable last night 
and drifted till he struck a sand beach — all hands stop to help him 
off — afternoon, we run foul of another raft that turns our course 
into shallow water — obliged to wait for assistance — evening, anchor 
a little above the upper snie (or channel) that leads to the Mis- 
sisippi — from this place, intend to double man our rafts, and make 
2 trips as the navigation is difficult. 

April 18 th — Sabbath — Long shall I rememfber] this day — the 
dangers and difficulties we have escaped by the mercies of God, I 
think I shall not soon forget — Seated on a bunch of shingles, after 
the toils of the day are over, my thoughts are turned to my native 
home, my friends and relations I hope and trust are attending the 
worship of God in a proper place, while I am here in an uncivilized 
land tugging with the oar and handspike 

We started erly from our encampment a little above the upper snie 
or channel that leads to the Missisipi, with part of our rafts, double 
manned — run a short distance very well — then come to short bends 
in the river overhung with trees, whose tops frequently brush the 
water, the current rapid, our raft became in a manner unmanageable, 
and we dashed from shore to shore and raked by the trees that seemed 
to threaten us with immediate destruction; 2 horses were swept over- 
board, but swam ashore, we had an elegant skiff and canoe broken, 
lost several pieces of timber and our raft almost a wreck — however by 
the Providence of God we escaped with our lives, and LeSfl losfl of 
property than we had reason to expect, and anchored at a place 
called "le Chepoie" a little below an old Indian trading house, find 
2 of Rolettes men here who had been in quest of provision hear of 



the death of old Mr Ayrd at the Prairie du Chien, — Refresh our- 
selves, and return for the other rafts — hard rowing against the cur- 
rent — come down with the other rafts in safty being better acquainted 
with the best channel — encamp for the night — 

April 19 th Cloudy, and prospect of rain — the bottoms are all over- 
flowed for many miles. — the river is still rising — the Missisippi is 
no more than 1% mile distant but we have 20 to go before we enter 
it We have another difficult passage to effect and start with only 
2 rafts to look out the best channel — get fast with one raft, the other 
succeeds in finding a passage — 

April 20 th After much trouble and perplexity, by cutting some rafts 
in two, and part unloading others we succeed in getting all through 
about sunset this day — the current is very gentle, but the river 
spreads into many different channels, and these again are obstructed 
by old trees, stumps and sand-bars which rendered it difficult to find 
a channel large enough for our rafts to pass. 

April 21*. Fair weather — start some small rafts to try the passage 
a few miles further — the people return and report favorably, get our 
horses once more on board, and set forward — 11 oclock A. M. enter 
the Lake, where we consider ourselves past most of our dangers and 
hardships ; and I have reason to render thanks to an ever Merciful 
and Benificent God, who has protected us, unworthy Beings, thus 
far in safty. 

April 22 d . Get under way very early — float slowly, as there is but 
little current in the lake, the feathered choir are tuning their melo- 
dious notes, as a prelude to a beautiful day, and vegetation, which, 
but lately appeared in the cold embrace of death, is now breaking 
forth into life and animation ! — enter the Missisippi about 10 oclock 
A. M. — a large horde of indians encamped on the point 12 oclock 
pass the River "Racine" 11 it comes in on the West, its water is said 
to be very clear ; it has quite a green appearance at a distance, — pass 
the River O'shaw 12 a little before sunset it comes in on the east — 
April 23 d Loose our cables at daybreak and float away — sunrise, 
meet old Mr. Grosler returning with provisions to the assistance of 
Roletts party — as we had relieved their necessities in Black river, he 

11 Modern Root River, in Houston County, Minnesota. 
"Modern Coon River, in Vernon County, Wisconsin. 

Ufe in Wisconsin One Hundred Years Ago 459 

now testifies his gratitude by tendering whatever he has that he thinks 
will refresh us, as salt fresh Bread, old spirits, pass the Ioway River 
on the west — in the afternoon pass a high bluff called by the French 
Cap' o' lie, 13 from garlicks that grow at its base. — Mc.Nair, Lupiere 
and Bauritt leave us in a canoe intending to meet their wives before 
they sleep sunset — pass a party of French cutting timber. 
April 24 th Expect to reach Prairie du Chien by 12 oclock — morning 
rainy — 8 oclock arrive at Prairie de Souix — 

11 Mc. Nair and a party meet us to aid us in soon heave in sight 
of the town — the wind contrary, we are obliged to anchor a few miles 
above, bring in our raft in the evening 

April 25 th Sabbath Commence boarding with Mr. Man — he intends 
to go down the river with me. — 

" 26 th Divide timber with Mc. Nair. prepare to move down 
the river in a few days — Dickson, Andrews and Owens, 14 are pre- 
paring an expedition up Black river to build a sawmill at the falls 
April 27 th Warm weather — the river rising — A trading boat arrives 
from St. Peter's river they have made a bad trade — having but little 
peltry to what they usuly got — Dr. Wiley is dead, he was the prin- 
cipal manager of one of the trading companies — several of their men 
have died, others are sick — an epedemical disorder has visited them 
April 29 th South wind for several days, which prevents me starting 
with my raft. 

25 or 30 canoes of Indians, of the Sack Nation arrive — Also a 
Band of the Souix these nations have been at war they hold a 
Council at the Indian Agents and agree to make Peace — but they 
generaly break it when they have an oportunity — 
April 30 th Leave "the Prairie du Chien" as I expect forever, iras 
obliged to sacrifice considerable property. 

2 oclock, Mr Man and myself having bid adieu to our friends, pull 
off our raft and float pleasantly down the river — 

M "Cap o' Lie," from the French "Cap a l'Ail," meaning Cape Garlic, « ii 
later transformed into the town name "Capoli." Garlic Cape h a bold head land 
on the Iowa side of the river, which was commented upon by most c.nh fog 
on the Mississippi, e. g., by Long in 1817. 

14 Wilfred Owens was a Kentuckian who came to Prairie du Ohteo M I partner 
of Alexander McNair. He was one of the early probate judges of Crawford 
County. In August, 1821 he committed suicide by cutting his throat, the ad bdag 
supposedly due to mental derangement. 



Mr Man sleeps, while I watch our motions, and note down these 
remarks. — 

I have spent near two years at Prairie du Chien, with little satisfac- 
tion to myself ; and perhaps as little acquisition of property how- 
ever it is folly to mourn mispent time. 

Pass "Pike's hill," nearly opposite the mouth of the Ouisconsin; 
selected by Gen. Pike as a suitable scite for a fort. 15 — the evening 
pleasant — we conclude to run all night, and watch alternately. — the 
latter part of the night we both get to sleep awake in the morning 
and find all safe — 

May 1* Beautiful morn. Arrange our affairs in complete order — 
build a place for cooking, and live away in great style the river 
takes a long stretch without turning Pass the Lead Dubuque mines 
about 5. PM. let the raft run all night — both of us sleep a great 
part of the time — escape in safty — although very earless — 
May 2 d Sabbath — the wind shifts to the East — a perogue passes us 
for Rock river my canoe breaks loose — save it by jumping in the 
river, and swimming ashore, the wind against us — ly by in the after- 
noon start out of our harbour by hard pushing — 9 oclock in the 
evening strike on a sawyer and lie all night — high wind. 
May 3 d Work most of the day in getting off the sawyer — the wind 
too high for starting — a heavy shower at night — thunder lightning 
wind and rain — 

May 4 th Start at day break, frequent showers — the wind against us 
lie by most of the day 

May 5 th Start early — 9 oclock pass Boutilles [Bouthillier's] trad- 
ing house, also an Indian village at the head of the rapids — the river 
is rapid 22 miles to Rock island on which stands fort "Armstrong" 
the country most of the way looks beautiful, gently sloping towards 
the river, covered with the greenest verdure and blossoms of spring, 
go down the West channel of rock island arrive at fort Armstrong 
5 oclock P. M. 

this fort is handsomly situated on the lower point of an island, the 
shore on which it stands is rock rising 12 or 15 feet above the water — 
at present there is only a Lieutenant and 12 men in the garrison — 

15 At the time of his expedition up the Mississippi in 1805. 

Ldfe in Wisconsin One Hundred Years Ago 461 

stay about an hour and push off float all night — take turns in keep- 
ing watch have a pleasant run — the moon about the full. 
May 6 th We have a side wind that keeps us rowing constantly to 
avoid running ashore — stop before night — Prospect of rain 
May 7 th A shower last night — Breakfast and conclude to start, with 
a head wind — a shower the wind changes West and drives us under 
the East shore — strike on a sawyer, unload the hind part of our raft 
and get off — Evening pleasant — 1 oclock morn I being on the watch 
find myself among sandbars — endeavour to avoid them and stick 
fast — work hard in the water 2 hours then lighten the raft and get - 
off — run well the rest of the night 

May 8 th Chilly morn. — several showers thunder Lightning wind and 
rain — 

May 9 th Sabbath — Passed old fort Madison 16 10 oclock last Eve- 
ning, had a fine run last night — enter the rapids 18 miles long — ten 
oclock A. M. arrive at fort Edward[s] 17 opposite the River des 
Moine — the garrison left the fort this spring Mr. Belt, 18 the Indian 
Factor, the Contractors Agent, and a few hirelings are all that re- 
main — we dine with Mr Belt this fort is small, but handsomely 
situated on a point of land that overlooks the river on the East or 
Illinois side 

3 oclock — start again — meet a boat under sail for Prairie du Chien — 
also a gale of wind that lays us by — sunset pass the end of Fox Slue 
so called 9 miles long — Mr Man unwell goes to bed. I have to watch 
alone Pleasant Evening (Pass the site of Quincy May 10 1819 ) 19 

M Fort Madison was established in 1808 on the site of the modern Iowa city 
of the same name. In the summer of 1813 the fort was besieged by Indians for 
several weeks; the garrison finally escaped by night, burning the fort as they 

17 Fort Edwards, opposite the city of Keokuk, Iowa, was established in the 
summer of 1816. A factory was established here two years later. The fort was 
abandoned in 1824. 

18 Robert B. Belt of Maryland, who came to Fort Madison in 1819 M M itot a n! 
to John W. Johnson, the factor. Belt was with Johnson for a time ftl Prairie du 
Chien and then received the position here noted. 

19 The italicized words were evidently written at a later time. Two yean 
later Keyes, on a horseback journey through the wilderness, camped for the night 
on this spot. He was so taken with it that he resolved "if God would jfift mm 
a foothold here" he would make it his permanent dwelling place, This resolution 
was responsible for the first log cabin, built on the Bite of QuinCJ In ' s '-' <. the 
home of the first three settlers, Keyes, Hose, and Wood. Bee K <•>«•- family 
genealogy (Brattleboro, 1880), 7-8. 



May 10 th Pleasant, the wind in our favor 11 oclock pass Two 
Rivers so called — 2 oclock, P. M. arrive at Bay Charles, I take the 
Canoe and explore it — two islands lie high up it — pass round them, 
see an Indian grave recently set up — Suppose it to be that of an 
Indian lately killed by the Whites, of which we heard the news at 
fort Edward — a little further at an old Indian encampment, I find 
a rod peeled and painted Red, stuck in the ground, and on the top 
of it was tied a piece of Scalp, bring it away — 3 oclock Pass Mis- 
souri 20 Bear Creek here the Indian was killed, a town Hanniball 20 
was commenced, but the inhabitants have left it. 26 miles to Louisi- 
ania Mo the first settlement on the river — Sunset, arrive at Gilberts 
Licks. A man formerly from Vermont lives here of the name of 
Hubbard — a town has been lately laid out by the proprietors called 
Saverton — we stop here for the night — a man promises us a deer by 

May 11 th The man brings in a deer according to his promise — Salt 
works are established at these Licks tho not at present in oppera- 
tion — have 32 kettles, and allow they can make 10 bushels per day — 
purchase some fresh Butter, milk &C — and start — 10 oclock we were 
met by a most violent squall of wind — which drove us into the river, 
and finaly quite across it. its violence was so great that every 
moment it seemed the raft would break in pieces the waves dashed 
over it with fury, and washed many things overboard — 
I lost my hat in the scrape, and our canoe broke loose, but I fortu- 
nately catched it. towards evening, being busy in adjusting our 
things we ran on a Sawyer that stopt us for the night. 
May 12 th Unload part of the raft — find the snag, and cut it off — 
arrive at Louisiania village 12 oclock 

this town is 2 miles below the mouth of Salt river, and was lately 
appointed the seat of Justice for Pike County 

Not fancying this place very well, we soon pushed for Clarksville, 
12 miles below the wind was unfavorable but the current pretty 
strong arrive at Clarksville about sunset — 

this looks like a village in the wilderness. 21 however I like the situa- 
tion better I think than Louisania — 

20 Apparently later interpolations. 

21 According to the local history the first cabin on the site of Clarksville was 
built in 1816. At the time of Keyes' visit, therefore, the place was still a new 

Life in Wisconsin One Hundred Years Ago 463 

May 13 th A Public sale of lots in this village is to be held, on the 
15 th ins 1 , we conclude to await the result. 22 

A thunder shower, the wind sudenly changes N. W. — cold and high 

May 14 th Saunter about and examine the town site, there is but one 
frame house, and half- a dozen of hewed logs — tis said to have a fine 
settlement back of respectable and wealthy farmers 
May 15 th They commence the sale of lots, — sold about 50 lots this 
they varied from $100 to $240 — the people who come in from the 
country appear mostly like respectable farmers, I conclude to tarry 
in this place a while 

May 16 th Sabbath a meeting for religious worship preaching by 
the Rev. Mr. Riddle, Baptist. Acts XIII. 32. 33 
May 19 th Go in Company with R. Burns to some deer licks to watch 
for deer 7 miles down the river 1% back in the country kill one 
deer, tormented by mosketos 

May 20 th return in the afternoon, find an other canoe work hard 
in taking them both up the river — 

May 21* Attend a rolling bee this morning Mr. Ewings 23 

— 22 d help Mr. Burns plant corn. 
May 23 d Sabbath, read most of the day 

May 24 th Go a hunting, find no game — ascend the highest summit 
have a prospect of the river and adjacent country it looks beau- 
tiful on the other side of the river — 
June 1* work for mr Man carpentering — 

June 13 th Bargin with Col. Millar for a lot in Clarksville price $180 
June 16 th bargin with Col. Miller to lathe a house at st. Louis price. 
June 24 th Mr. Man's family arrives from St Louis 
July 4 Sabb